August 19, 2012 in Psychology & Psychiatry
“The large body of evidence that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers encourages the search for other mood modulators in food…”
My comment: The link from the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones to effects on mood is via receptor-mediated effects on the molecular biology of cells. Both types of chemicals are electrically charged, which means they cause receptor-mediated changes in intracellular electrostatic signaling. That is how these chemicals alter stochastic gene expression. Changes in gene expression that result in beneficial genetically predisposed behaviors are expected to be manifested as downstream changes in levels of proteins involved in, among other things, the production of hormones that affect behavior.
We now have evidence (from the article above) “…that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers…” We already had evidence that chemicals associated with plant odors cause changes in levels of estrogen. In women, increased estrogen levels are associated with positive changes in mood.
If not for the role of human pheromone-deniers and my antagonists that pop in and out of discussions in the various internet news groups where I participate, people would also be more fully aware that the effects of human pheromones on mood and on behavior are epigenetic effects — just like the effects of “good mood foods.” For example, the effect of androstenol on levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) links the effects of androgenic pheromones, like androstenol that is found in men’s natural body odor — and in Scent of Eros products — to changes in estrogen levels, positive mood changes, and in our study to increased observed flirtatious behaviors and increased self-reported levels of attraction to a man wearing a combination of androstenol with androsterone.
The androsterone, also found in the Scent of Eros product for men, adds a degree of species specificity to the mixture as well as being an indicator of reproductive fitness. Thus, my claim for pheromone-enhancement is one that can be validated by past and current research on studies of the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals, food odors, plant odors, and the chemicals in natural body odors to the behavior of people. The difference is that now I have modeled the cause and effect relationships that exist across species from microbes to man in a journal article published in March 2012. See: Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.
If you examine the claims made by others for the effectiveness of their products, you can now compare the science that’s behind the claims, unless the claims others make are for undisclosed active ingredients that somehow cause this affect on behavior (e.g., increased affection). Those claims cannot be compared to anything, especially the science of pheromone-enhancement.
What the citation to my own published research results means to consumers should be obvious. When it comes to claims by others that their particular product supposedly contains some unknown mixture of chemicals that does something to the behavior of the opposite sex, those claims can be compared to scientific evidence of epigenetic cause and effects that are consistent with the affects of food odors, plant odors — including flower odors — perfumes, colognes, and other fragrance-enhanced products designed to positively impact mood.