High Prolactin May Lower Metabolism

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High Prolactin May Lower Metabolism

A recent doctoral thesis by Louise Nilsson of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden explores the function of the hormone Prolactin, which is naturally high in women who are pregnant or breast feeding. Prolactin is what stimulates the mammary glands right before lactation. It is also present in men at lower levels.

This hormone aids in the function of the nervous system and helps provide humans with sexual pleasure. When present in normal levels, prolactin helps regulate the body.

However, the new thesis proposes that prolactin levels can be raised too high by some prescription drugs, by stress or by hypothyroidism. When this happens, the body responds badly.

Fatty tissue in both genders may respond by reducing the amount of another hormone called adiponectin, which aids in fat metabolism. Prolactin can also reduce the ability that human fatty tissue has to store sugar and fat, thus causing the tissue to release those elements into the bloodstream. This alone can raise a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nilsson’s thesis stated more than 30,000 men and women in Sweden may have raised levels of prolactin. And a study from our National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service explains that too much of it can be symptomatic of having a tumor in the pituitary gland. Such tumors, however, are almost always benign.

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