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Fertil Steril. 2001 May;75(5):926-32.

Endocrine and chronobiological effects of fasting in women.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA. sberga@mail.magee.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether fasting in women would suppress GnRH/LH drive in a high- versus low-gonadal steroid milieu.

DESIGN:

Case-control study.

SETTING:

Academic clinical research center.

PATIENT(S):

Eleven eumenorrheic women and eleven women taking combined oral contraceptives.

INTERVENTION(S):

Seven of the eleven women in each group underwent an acute 72-hour fast. Blood samples were obtained at 15-minute intervals for 24 hours before the fast and during the last 24 hours of fasting.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Twenty-four-hour profiles of LH, cortisol, and melatonin were assessed. Ovarian activity was tracked with estradiol and progesterone levels, and metabolic responses were gauged by measuring thyroid hormone and beta-hydroxy-butyric acid levels.

RESULT(S):

Fasting increased beta-hydroxy-butyric acid and reduced free thyronine. Fasting in the midfollicular phase had no effect on LH pulsatility or on FSH, estradiol, or subsequent luteal-phase progesterone levels. However, fasting elevated cortisol and resulted in a phase advance in melatonin secretion of 81 minutes in both the midfollicular and luteal phases.

CONCLUSION(S):

Fasting in women elicited expected metabolic responses and apparently advanced the central circadian clock without compromising reproductive function.

PMID:
11334904
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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