Natural Pheromones Can Enhance Romance

Unless you’ve ever observed a sow rooting for a truffle, you might not fully appreciate the power of pheromones. One tantalizing whiff of the truffle scent transforms a normally placid creature into a love-crazed maniac.

In her frenzy to locate the object of her fascination, she will dig, root and wallow the earth — apparently oblivious to the effort and personal discomfort involved. The truffle itself doesn’t appear to be exceptionally attractive — and is probably unworthy of any pig’s undying devotion.

A German scientist, pondering the porcine passion for truffles, set out to determine the reason for all the fuss. He discovered that truffles contain high concentrations of androstenol, a hormone normally produced by boars.

Interestingly, the hormone found in truffles and boars is remarkably similar to steroids produced by human males. Although the effects of the hormones don’t seem to be as potent in people as they are in pigs, they still exist to an impressive degree.

Researchers tested the effects of these steroids on women volunteers. When the women were seated in rooms that had been sprayed with androstenol, they ranked men in photographs as being significantly more attractive than when they viewed the same photos in untreated rooms.

As it turns out, the androstenol in truffles acts as a pheromone — a hormonal substance secreted by animals and insects throughout the wild kingdom. These creatures use pheromones as chemical messengers to attract potential mates. {jcomments on}

The male silkworm moth, for example, can pinpoint an eligible bachelorette nearly seven miles away in response to a single molecule of her seductive scent. With this in mind, animal pheromones are commonly used as ingredients in perfumes and colognes.

healthsmellIn its natural form, musk is derived from the male musk deer. A gland near the tail of the civet cat is the original source of a costly fragrance by the same name.

Amber was initially isolated from whale intestines. Jasmine contains small concentrations of skatole and indole, compounds normally present in animal droppings.

Until recently, it was widely accepted that humans were incapable of detecting or responding to pheromones. A few upstart scientists challenged this dogma, accumulating substantial scientific evidence to refute the long-held belief.

The potency of pheromones was clearly buy doxycycline 100mg demonstrated nearly a half-century ago by Dr. David Berliner, a scientist at the University of Utah. While working on experiments involving skin cells in his laboratory, he noticed that when vials containing the skin samples were open, the members of his staff underwent striking behavioral changes.

Once prone to bouts of bickering, his colleagues displayed a new spirit of camaraderie and cohesiveness. When Berliner’s experiment ended and the vials were sealed, his associates returned to their former contentious ways.

When the vials were reopened, the positive changes reappeared. After years of additional work, Berliner succeeded in isolating the mood-altering substances, which he identified as pheromones.

The compounds were remarkably similar to those produced by animals to attract potential mates. Berliner also identified the human organ responsible for pheromone perception — the vomeronasal organ, or VNO.

The VNO lies nestled in the membranes covering the nasal septum, with tiny, slit-like openings in each nostril. Although the VNO had been discovered years earlier, it was believed to be completely nonfunctional in men and women.

More recently, researchers at Rockefeller University in New York discovered what appears to be a pheromone receptor gene in the olfactory tissue of humans. The gene, dubbed V1RL1, appears to be fully functional — capable of receiving pheromone signals from other humans and triggering emotional and physical responses in the recipient.

Although you can buy commercially produced pheromones, there’s really no reason to spend a dime of your hard-earned money on expensive colognes. You’ll find plenty of pheromones right under your nose — or under your armpits, to be more specific.

Pheromones mix with perspiration from glands under the arms and other body parts. Evaporation facilitates their release into the surrounding air.

With all that’s known about pheromones, it’s interesting to contemplate the rituals involved in modern-day dating. Men and women scrub themselves squeaky clean and then slather on synthetic scents.

While perfumes and colognes are often used to attract potential partners, they’re probably not nearly as effective as natural pheromones.

It’s hard to believe that abstaining from bathing could actually increase your allure, but there seems to be plenty of scientific evidence supporting this theory. If you’re looking for romance, it might be worth trying.

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