Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1995;20(3):323-34.

Stress, serotonergic function, and mood in users of oral contraceptives.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychonomics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


The relationship between stress and changes in insulin levels, plasma ratio of tryptophan to other large neutral amino acids (LNAAs), mood, and food intake was investigated in women taking monophasic oral contraceptives containing progestagens. Subjects experiencing high levels of stress displayed significant decreases of insulin and tryptophan to other LNAAs ratios, before and after the consumption of a standard meal during the pill-free period as compared with the period of pill use. The decline of the tryptophan to other LNAAs ratio was accompanied by worsening of mood. In a control group of subjects experiencing low levels of stress there was no relationship between insulin and tryptophan to other LNAAs ratio, nor between tryptophan to other LNAAs ratio and mood. These results suggest that the combination of stress and alterations in sex hormones may be responsible for mood changes during the pill-free period in women taking oral contraceptives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk