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In a programme that unveils the chemistry hidden in our day to day lives, it may seem strange to speak of love, often celebrated as a spiritual phenomenon, sometimes only physical, but rarely seen as a result of the action of chemicals on the brain.

We don't want to diminish the strength and beauty of such noble sentiment, but the truth is that "love" is a complex neurobiological phenomenon, based on brain activitiythat includes desire, confidence, pleasure and reward, and involves the action of a large number of chemical messengers.

When two people are in love, there is actually chemistry between them: scientists have found many direct links between the chemicals that circulate in our blood and act on our brain and our behavior in the various stages of love.

In an initial phase, sexual desire is provoked by the circulation of sex hormones, which begins in adolescence: testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

The second phase is the passion phase, when you lose your appetite, you don't sleep, and only think of the loved one, by the action of another set of chemicals that act on the brain, the neurotransmitters: norepinephrine that accelerates the heartbeat, serotonin that makes us obsessed, and dopamine, which makes us happy - and even a little silly - with just a smile or a look. Can you recognize the symptoms?

And because no-one can stay like this forever, we go to the third phase of love, the connection phase, guaranteed by the presence of two hormones that are released during the sexual act: oxytocin -the so called love hormone - and vasopressin, whose presence is apparently essential to ensure the fidelity of sexual partners.

Recent studies also provide clues on how to increase men'sinterest in the eyes of their female partners. But that is something I will not reveal here ...