Navigation Links
Human Pheromones: Fact and Fiction

Valentine’s Day often brings hopes of romance, sometimes spurring aspiring Romeos or Juliets to seek assistance from products marketed as human pheromones. //

It’s just wishful thinking, according to George Preti, PhD and Charles Wysocki, PhD, scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

'We still have much to learn about pheromonal communication in humans. However, based on what we do know, human pheromones do not act as sex attractants,' says Wysocki, a behavioral neuroscientist. 'Effects of pheromones on adult human social behavior have never been documented in a controlled peer-reviewed setting.'

First identified in insects, pheromones are chemical substances secreted to the environment by an individual that cause a programmed response in a second individual of the same species. By definition, responses to pheromones are involuntary.

Insect pheromones can elicit well-defined responses, including overt displays of attraction and sexual behavior. Bombykol, the first chemical compound identified as a pheromone, is secreted by the female silkworm moth to entice males as potential mates.

'The general term pheromone is often linked to images of specific, rapid response and sexual attraction,' notes Preti, an organic chemist. 'Actually, pheromones are divided into classes that are defined by characteristics of the responses.'

Chemical signals that elicit immediate behaviors are described as releaser pheromones. Examples of releaser pheromones include mating attractants such as bombykol and danger-signaling alarm pheromones released by insects and mammals, which can elicit aggressive behavior or rapid withdrawal.

Primer pheromones have long-term physiological effects on the recipient, perhaps affected through changes in gene expression. Primer effects often target reproductive or developmental processes, as in the case of chemicals released by honeybee queens to stop ovary develop ment of worker bees.

Signaler pheromones provide information, such as an individual’s sex or age. And, scientists are beginning to believe that certain primate pheromones may also affect a recipient’s mood; these have been labeled modulator pheromones.

To be classified as a pheromone, a chemical or small set of chemicals must be obtained from one member of a species, structurally characterized, and then be shown to produce a reliable involuntary response in other members of the same species. Chemicals isolated from bodily secretions such as sweat, saliva or urine of several mammalian species, including swine and hamsters, have been validated as pheromones.

However, the chemical identities of human pheromones remain elusive. Preti comments, 'To date, no scientifically rigorous study using human secretions has led to the isolation and chemical identification of a true human pheromone.'

On the other hand, detailed studies have demonstrated pheromonal responses in humans, implying that humans do in fact produce and respond to pheromones. For example, Preti and Wysocki established that unidentified chemicals in human male underarm extracts can affect female reproductive hormone secretion (primer pheromone effect) and mood (modulator pheromone effect).

But Wysocki notes, 'Because human responses to pheromones and other chemical signals are influenced by our past experiences, context and other sensory inputs, it is unlikely that pheromones can cause the same type of involuntary attractant response in humans that is seen in the silkworm moth.'


Related medicine news :

1. Human Genome Project Achieves Technological Triumph
2. First Vaccine Designed for Africa Cleared for Testing in Humans
3. Human gene number increases
4. Scientists found ancient Human Germ Killer
5. New standards for Human Research Safety
6. Human wasting disease linked to a gene
7. The Human Mad Cow Case
8. Human Growth Hormone Found To be Dangerous For Human Use
9. Human Antibody That Can Block SARS
10. Human immunity system can battle HIV.
11. Two New Human Papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines to prevent cervical cancer
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an independent physician, Andrew Gostine, ... evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. This study is taking ... 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical center located in Chicago, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In ... nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension ... Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low ... dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping ... thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bunion ... in an early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. Starting Wednesday November ... (normally $33.95 ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition to any automatic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... New patients who wish to seek treatment for missing teeth can now ... Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. Williams has been providing dental service for over 34 years, ... teeth can lead to a variety of complications if they are not replaced quickly, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Thanks to a donor with a personal ... Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s Health now ... San Francisco . Fred ... with a gift of $617,320 that allowed the Center ... Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional (3-D) mammography ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ESSA Pharma Inc. ("ESSA" ... announced today that the first patient has been enrolled ... a treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer ("mCRPC"). ... --> the United States ... Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ESSA intends to demonstrate the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PUNE, India , November 24, 2015 ... new market research report "Spine Biologics Market by Product Type ... Type (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion), ... by MarketsandMarkets, the global market was valued at $1.90 Billion ... 2020, at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: