PMID: 7777660Jan 1, 1995

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

A TuitenW Everaerd


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.


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Related Concepts

Mood (Psychological Function)
Blood Glucose
Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
Hydrocortisone, (9 beta,10 alpha,11 alpha)-Isomer
Insulin B Chain
Insulin Sensitivity
Mental Suffering

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