How to Lower Prolactin For Bodybuilding

How to Lower Prolactin For Bodybuilding

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.

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Prolactin is a hormone that can interfere with muscle growth and recovery, making it a concern for bodybuilders.

Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help lower prolactin levels, including dietary changes, supplements, and medications. In this guide, we'll explore the science behind prolactin and provide tips for lowering it to support your bodybuilding goals.

Prolactin

If you want to build muscles, you may be wondering how to lower prolactin for body building. Prolactin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus. It inhibits the production of cortisol and increases the release of growth hormone.

It is produced by the body in response to various conditions, including stress, bacterial infection, and allergic reactions. To lower prolactin levels, a diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E may be effective.

A high prolactin level may be a symptom of another problem. In such cases, you should consult a medical doctor who can diagnose the underlying cause and suggest a suitable treatment.

Some medications, such as dopamine agonists, can help you lower your prolactin levels. Other medical conditions such as a pituitary tumor, which can cause elevated levels of prolactin, may require surgery.

While some dopamine agonists can help lower prolactin, they can also have unwanted side effects.

Excessive prolactin can cause hormonal havoc in the body. Among other causes, it can lead to secondary sex characteristics in women. In addition, elevated prolactin may increase the risk of miscarriage. If you're trying to build muscles, you should take steps to lower prolactin levels. 

Another way to lower prolactin is to take medication that targets the pituitary gland. Cabergoline, which is a dopamine receptor agonist, decreases serum levels by blocking the action of prolactin on the brain.

Understanding Prolactin and Its Effects on Bodybuilding

Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that plays a role in lactation and reproductive function.

However, it can also inhibit the production of testosterone and growth hormone, which are essential for muscle growth and recovery.

High levels of prolactin can lead to decreased muscle mass, increased fat storage, and reduced exercise performance. Understanding how prolactin affects the body is crucial for bodybuilders looking to optimize their training and achieve their goals.

Prolactin, more commonly known for promoting lactation and developing breast tissue in females, as well as contributing to hundreds of bodily functions, is best known for increasing lactation during gestation and breastfeeding while having some significant side effects when levels become excessively elevated.

Prolactin production occurs both males and females but elevated prolactin levels in men can have very dangerous implications when bodybuilding or participating in any physical sport. 

High prolactin levels have also been associated with various conditions and diseases, such as hyperprolactinemia, pituitary tumors (also called prolactinoma), and low male libido due to hypolactinemia in males.

Furthermore, some medications used to treat depression, high blood pressure or pain relief may contribute to elevated prolactin levels as well.

Hypothyroidism, which results from having too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), has also been shown to raise prolactin levels due to an increase in the production of TRH, which stimulates prolactin secretion.

Taking thyroid hormone replacement therapy is one way of effectively treating hypothyroidism.

Stress, exercise and eating disorders can also raise prolactin levels; anabolic steroids at very high doses may also have this effect.

Raised prolactin can result in irregular periods, decreased sexual drive and abdominal fat gain.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes to Lower Prolactin Levels

Multiple conditions and medications can increase prolactin levels. Stress, low thyroid hormone levels or tumors near the pituitary gland (prolactinomas) can trigger elevated prolactin levels.

High prolactin levels can also be an unwanted side effect of certain psychiatric medications like Risperidone and Haloperidol; acid reflux medications like Omeprazole can all trigger high prolactin levels as well.

While medications and surgery are commonly employed to address this condition, diet and lifestyle modifications can also help balance high levels of the hormone. Many of these strategies can easily be put into action and have a dramatic impact on a person's reproductive health.

Avoiding foods and supplements known to raise prolactin is one of the easiest ways to lower its levels. Chaste tree, fennel, red clover and moringa all may have similar results. 

Exercise can also help boost prolactin levels. According to studies, regular physical activity has been shown to lower them through reducing levels of stress hormones produced.

Studies also indicate that "mindful movement," which encourages participants to pay attention while moving, can significantly lower prolactin levels than just moving mindlessly through an exercise regimen.

Avoiding overeating can also help boost prolactin levels. Consuming excess calories can trigger stress hormone release and alter your energy balance in such a way as to raise prolactin levels, leading to an increase in prolactin production.

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Supplements and Medications to Lower Prolactin

High prolactin levels are most often the result of noncancerous pituitary tumors called prolactinoma that produce excessive prolactin production, leading to symptoms like milk-like discharge from the nipple, irregular periods, and decreased sexual drive.

Additional causes might include stress, undereating and certain medications like antipsychotics, antidepressants and heartburn drugs among others.

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that can aid in inhibiting prolactin production by increasing dopaminergic effects in the hypothalamus.

You can also take vitamin E supplements. However, you should make sure that they contain alpha-tocopherol.

Another supplement is dopamine agonists, which work by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain and reducing prolactin production.

Other supplements which have also shown promise for this are Yiru Tiaojing Granule made up of licorice roots as well as peony-glycyrrhiza decoction (PGD), both proven to unblock D2 receptors in PC12 cells; prolactin inhibitors which block its release from hypothalamus are other effective means.

Exercise and Training Techniques to Lower Prolactin

Exercise and training on basal resting prolactin concentrations is highly contentious in the literature, with some studies reporting increases while others note decreases.

This could be related to differences in program type or duration; vigorous, high-intensive anaerobic exercise yields stronger prolactin responses than submaximal steady-state aerobic exercises typically do.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to reduce prolactin levels in some studies. Resistance training, such as weightlifting, can also help lower prolactin levels by increasing testosterone production.

Additionally, incorporating rest and recovery days into your training schedule can help prevent overtraining, which can lead to elevated prolactin levels.

Exercise that helps relieve stress is one of the primary contributors to an elevated prolactin level, while simultaneously decreasing inflammation induced by foods like sugar, gluten, caffeine and alcohol which all can stimulate prolactin release.

As mentioned previously, addressing any underlying issues such as thyroid imbalance, undereating, low cortisol due to chronic stress or even engaging in activities like yoga and meditation can all help naturally lower prolactin.

If your prolactin levels remain extremely elevated it's also essential to make sure there is no pituitary tumor masking symptoms and leading to elevated prolactin. An MRI will diagnose such tumors which can then be treated using medication.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Prolactin Levels for Optimal Results

Prolactin levels tests determine how much prolactin hormone there is in your blood sample, produced by a pituitary gland located at the base of your brain.

Prolactin usually increases during gestation and after birth to help produce milk; it can also rise post-birth due to breastfeeders' milk production, although prolactinoma pituitary tumors cause them to release too much prolactin into circulation.

Prolactin levels fluctuate throughout the day and tend to peak in the morning. To obtain an accurate reading, a blood test should be taken approximately three hours after awakening - asking your physician about this is necessary and for instructions if necessary.

Your healthcare provider will collect a blood sample from an arm or hand vein. This procedure should be simple and painless; though pressure may need to be applied immediately following the test to reduce bruising.

Certain medications such as risperidone, haloperidol and metoclopramide (used to treat acid reflux or nausea caused by cancer drugs) may affect prolactin levels; please inform your provider if taking such substances prior to having this test done.

Conclusion

The Science Behind Lowering Prolactin For Bodybuilding

Prolactin is a hormone that promotes lactation (breast milk production) in women and regulates sex hormones, menstruation, ovulation and sperm production in men.

When levels of prolactin rise outside pregnancy or breastfeeding they could indicate hyperprolactinemia.

This is an endocrine condition which leads to abnormally increased prolactin levels which could result in breast enlargement for both sexes, low sperm production or reduced sexual drive resulting in low sperm production as well as breast enlargement for males or gynecomastia for females.

High levels of prolactin can be caused by various medical conditions and diseases affecting the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands or brain.

Antidepressants and antipsychotics may also increase prolactin levels. Drugs which block dopamine receptors like bromocriptine or cabergoline may prevent secretion of prolactin; these drugs should only be taken with extreme caution as they could interfere with normal neurochemistry as well as produce side effects that compromise overall neurochemistry and cause side effects to occur.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), certain gastrointestinal diseases and low levels of thyroid hormone can all be contributors.

Low thyroid levels stimulate central hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone to increase prolactin. Thankfully, however, this situation can be corrected through thyroid replacement therapy.

There are also supplements that can help lower prolactin, including Chaste Tree/Vitex, Chamomile Powder, and Melatonin.

Vitamin B6 may also help: One study suggested that taking infusions before exercise increased growth hormone and reduced prolactin (although this study only involved healthy people - not humans); P-5-P has not yet been tested in humans or on healthy people either; creatine, Rhodiola Rosea extracts and elevATP have all shown promise as potential helpers as well.

Furthermore, exercise such as HIIT, resistance training and yoga may also offer some benefit.

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