Ingredient in Male Sweat Raises Women’s Hormone Levels


From Scientific American:

Rats, moths and butterflies are all known to send chemosignals to secure mates. Similar phenomena have been suggested but not proved in humans: Studies such as Elizabeth McClintock’s work in the early 1970s—in which women living together in a dormitory were found to have synchronous menstrual cycles—indicate that a sort of sixth sense exists that allows people’s bodies to communicate with one another.

But no evidence was produced, says Claire Wyart, a postdoctoral neuroscience researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, “that a single component of a complex mixture like sweat could induce a change on a hormonal level” without direct contact. Now a new study led by Wyart, published in this week’s issue of The Journal of Neuroscience does just that.

The researchers exposed 21 subjects to 30 milligrams of androstadienone and to yeast, which is not in sweat but has a similar olfactory sensation. The results: smelling the androstadienone increased positive mood, total physiological arousal and sexual arousal, which grew with longer exposure.

More here.  (Thanks to Ga and Zehra).