Optimal - The Blog

September 6, 2022

Prolactin: It's Not Just for Women

Prolactin is an interesting hormone with wide-ranging effects in the body from promotion of breast development in women to sexual dysfunction and metabolic syndrome in men. Prolactin affects cardiovascular health and function, immunity, and reproductive health so it can be an important hormone to monitor.

Low levels may be associated with autoimmunity, infections, hemochromatosis, sexual dysfunction, and metabolic syndrome. Certain medications can decrease or increase prolactin as well.

Elevated levels may be associated with endothelial dysfunction and CVD, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, kidney failure (reduced clearance), and infertility. High levels of prolactin are seen with pregnancy and prolactin-secreting tumors as well. 

Interestingly, levels can increase significantly while sleeping though levels are not usually drawn during sleep.

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Tag(s): Biomarkers

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