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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1989 Sep;69(3):540-5.

Increase in plasma melatonin, beta-endorphin, and cortisol after a 28.5-mile mountain race: relationship to performance and lack of effect of naltrexone.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131.

Abstract

Strenuous exercise increases plasma melatonin, cortisol, and beta-endorphin concentrations. Furthermore, a relationship between endogenous opioids and melatonin has been proposed. We measured plasma melatonin, cortisol, and beta-endorphin in 46 subjects before and after a 28.5-mile high altitude race. Thirteen of the subjects received the orally active opioid antagonist naltrexone immediately before the race. The mean plasma melatonin, cortisol, and beta-endorphin levels were higher after the race than before it; the melatonin results were confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry assay of 12 subjects. Naltrexone had no effect on the increase in any of the three hormones. The run-induced increases in plasma melatonin, beta-endorphin, and cortisol were negatively correlated with finishing time, but only the plasma beta-endorphin and cortisol rises correlated with each other. We conclude that prolonged exercise in trained athletes can increase plasma melatonin and that this rise is not due to the concomitant opioid release.

PMID:
2527243
DOI:
10.1210/jcem-69-3-540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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