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J Pineal Res. 1989;7(2):185-94.

Melatonin response to exercise training in women.

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Department of Health Sciences, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University, MA 02215.


Previous human studies have indicated that daytime melatonin levels increase when the organism is subjected to the stress of fasting and exercise. Melatonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels were measured during a mock run and in the course of treadmill exercise performed before (T-1), during (T-2), and following (T-3) a progressive conditioning (running) program. Hormonal responses to the training program were determined by comparing values at T-1 and T-3. Plasma melatonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels rose significantly (P less than .01) from baseline values for each exercise intensity during all three treadmill runs. While a dose-response trend was observed in each of the norepinephrine and epinephrine trials, there appeared to be a progressive diminution of this relationship in melatonin between intensities. Further, as training progressed, the peak melatonin concentration was decreased by 52% from T-1 to T-3, while peak epinephrine and norepinephrine values diminished only 19% and 8%, respectively. These results suggest that vigorous exercise training may attenuate rather than augment the secretion of pineal melatonin. Development of a human model of pineal responsiveness to exercise may contribute to the elucidation of exercise-associated reproductive disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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