Prolactin level hormone side effects and benefit
July 18 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Prolactin is a pituitary hormone that plays a pivotal role in a variety of reproductive functions. If you are interested in the latest research on natural supplements and hormones, consider subscribing to a free natural medicine newsletter sent by email.


Influence on metabolism

Prolactin affects metabolic homeostasis by regulating key enzymes and transporters that are associated with glucose and lipid metabolism in several target organs. In the lactating mammary gland, prolactin increases the production of milk proteins, lactose and lipids. In adipose tissue, it generally suppresses lipid storage and adipokine release. Prolactin  supports the growth of pancreatic islets, stimulates insulin secretion and increases citrate production in the prostate. A specific case is made for prolactin in the human breast and adipose tissue, where it acts as a circulating hormone and an autocrine or paracrine factor. Although the overall effects of prolactin on body composition are modest and species specific, prolactin might be involved in the manifestation of insulin resistance.


High prolactin Level

Hyperprolactinemia is a common condition that can result from a number of causes; including use of medications and hypothyroidism, as well as pituitary disorders. Depending on the cause and consequences of hyperprolactinemia, selected patients require specific treatment. The underlying cause of hyperprolactinemia, sex, age and reproductive status must be considered. Management of this condition depends heavily on the cause and on the effects it has on the patient. The definition of the hyperprolactinemia is not uniformed, and in various clinical settings various criteria of this status are used. In the identification of hyperprolactinemia not only simple measurements of the prolactin serum level are used, the dynamic tests with the use of dopamine antagonists have a special role as well. Neither the measurement of the serum prolactin level, nor dynamic tests with dopamine antagonists are able to determine the presence of macroprolactin molecules in the serum, and this can lead clinicians to establish the false diagnosis of hyperprolactinemia.
   One cause of a high prolactin level, particularly in women, is treatment with Prozac or other SSRI drugs.


How to lower prolactin levels naturally
Tropical Doct. 2015. Jasmine flower extract lowers prolactin. Antipsychotic drugs frequently cause amenorrhoea and galactorrhoea. Jasmine flowers used topically were as effective as oral Bromocriptine in suppressing puerperal lactation. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of intranasal jasmine flower extract (JFE) to reduce prolactin levels of patients on stable doses of antipsychotic drugs. This is a randomized, double blind, crossover clinical trial. An aqueous-ethanol extract of jasmine flowers was prepared and used as nasal drops. A decrease in serum prolactin of ≥25 ng/mL was considered a significant response. Ten out of 35 women had a significant drop in the serum prolactin while on the JFE. The non-responders to JFE were on higher doses of antipsychotic drugs. The main side effect was a transient and mild burning sensation in the nose. A cost analysis favoured jasmine flower extract over dopamine agonists.


Bright light exposure, especially in the morning, stimulates the pituitary gland to produce leutinizing hormone. This results in increased levels of testosterone and inhibition of melatonin production by the pineal gland. Decreased plasma melatonin is thought to lead to reduced serum prolactin Ė and high prolactin has been linked to sexual dysfunction.


Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2017. Pituitary GABA Receptor Stimulation by Carnitine may be a New Strategy for Antipsychotic-Induced Hyperprolactinemia. Hyperprolactinemia is a frequent adverse effect of antipsychotic medication. When antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia warrants treatment, several approaches can be attempted, such as dose reduction of the offending antipsychotic, switch to a prolactin-sparing antipsychotic, addition of aripiprazole to the current regimen, and addition of a dopamine agonist. 1 These strategies sometimes carry the risk of precipitating an exacerbation or relapse of psychotic symptoms.


Prolactin and Multiple sclerosis
MS can go into remission when women are pregnant. A study involving mice showed that prolactin triggers production of myelin, a fatty substance that insulates nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system, which normally protects the body, is believed to attack the myelin that coats nerve cells, causing a worsening loss of sensation and movement that can range from relatively minor to profoundly disabling. Perhaps future research will find prolactin could be used in people to repair damage caused by MS and improve their symptoms. Prolactin increases in the body during pregnancy and is involved in stimulating milk production among other things.

Prolactin as one of the reproductive hormones

The three reproductive hormones (leutinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin). Reproductive hormones are probably the most commonly measured hormones after the thyroid hormones.


Human reproductive evolution, involving a complex interaction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, the release of pulsatile and threshold concentrations of gonadotrophins and positive and negative feedback systems, has ensured the release of a single viable egg and functioning corpora lutea in the natural menstrual cycle.


Depression medications and their influence
Clin Psychopharmacology Neuroscience. 2015. Emerging Hyperprolactinemic Galactorrhea in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with a Stable Dose of Fluoxetine. While fluoxetine is a frequently prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), with few major side-effects; altered serotonergic transmissions in hypothalamic pathways might lead to a distressing, and often embarrassing, manifestation of galactorrhea by altering prolactin release in those on Prozac. We report here a case of Prozac induced hyperprolactinemic galactorrhea developing late into treatment on a stable regimen, who responded well to subsequent replacement with sertraline. Based on present finding, we suggest that while SSRIs may share similar mechanisms of action, there exist individual differences in their effects on prolactin secretion pathways.


Antipsychotic medications
Schizophr Research Treatment. 2013. Effects of Antipsychotics on Prolactin Levels and Women's Menstruation. Typical and atypical antipsychotic agent is currently used for treatment in the majority of patients with psychotic disorders. The aim of this review is to assess antipsychotic induced hyperprolactinaemia and the following menstrual dysfunction that affects fertility, quality of life, and therapeutic compliance of women. Method. For this purpose, Medline, PsychInfo, Cochrane library, and Scopus databases were accessed, with a focus on the publication dates between 1954 and 2012. Research of references was also performed and 78 studies were retrieved and used for the needs of this review. Results. A summary of several antipsychotics as well as frequency rates and data on hyperprolactinaemia and menstrual disorders for different agent is presented. Conclusion. Diverse prevalence rates of hyperprolactinaemia and menstrual abnormalities have been found about each medication among different studies. Menstruation plays an important role for women, thus, understanding, careful assessment, and management of hyperprolactinaemia could enhance their lives, especially when dealing with women that suffer from a psychotic disorder.


Cancer 2016. Prolactin and breast cancer: The need to avoid undertreatment of serious psychiatric illnesses in breast cancer patients: A review. Hyperprolactinemia, defined as a sustained elevation of prolactin (PRL) levels greater than 530 mIU/L in women and greater than 424 mIU/L in men, has been implicated for a long time in breast cancer etiology and prognosis. Elevated PRL values (approximately 2-3 times higher than the reference values) are a common adverse effect of antipsychotic medications, especially with first-generation drugs, and most antipsychotics carry a standard warning regarding PRL elevations on their US product labels.


Do you sell a tested herbal product for suppressing prolactin?
   I am not aware of an herb or such a natural product specifically tested for prolactin suppression.

Does the supplement LJ100 influence prolactin?
   LJ100, an extract of tongkat ali, may influence hormone levels but it is not clear what kind of influence it has.

Wondering if you have any products for prolactinoma patients.
   At this time we don't have any natural herbs or products for prolactinoma patients.


I would like to know if you have any natural products that could help with increasing my dopamine levels as I have a prolactinoma and would like to reduce the level of prolactin in my body. As a result of my prolactinoma I suffer from mood changes , depression, low libido, and a lot of pigmentation on my face, are there herbs that could help with the pigmentation? I have been taking chaste berry for some years, with minimal improvement. I am very much against the medications that the endocrinoligists suggested, I tried them and I kept vomiting and had bad headaches, and do not want to take these drugs for the rest of my life.
    You can review this page on dopamine, but I am not aware of any supplements or herbs that treat this condition.


Is l-dopa effective for lowering prolactin levels? Do you have any recommendations for folks with elevated levels? I currently take B6 (P5P) and zinc. I have idiopathic hyperprolactinemia; there is no tumor present on pituitary MRI so docs don't know why prolactin is elevated.


I am wondering if you know information associated with prolactinoma patients taking aphanizomenon flos-aquuae and it being a success?
   This is outside my range of knowledge.


I am 82 in good shape but have E.D. and trouble ejaculating sometime not at all. Also a member of A4M so I know a little. My prolactin level is always high. Every once in a while I go on Dostinex 0.5 mg 1-2xweek when the level comes down I go on high doses of B6 ( P5P) that does not do much. Today I noticed an article from 2013 saying the opposite( Live Science) menís sexual problems linked to low prolactin. Can you shine some light on this subject. I must admit over the years I never tried any natural sex stimulating pills. Most supplements I found are for premature ejaculation.
   A. To the best of my understanding, high levels can lead to decrease in sexual drive and erectile function. However there are many other causes of ED and it is worthwhile to try some natural supplements to see if they work. In older individuals it is a good idea to begin with low dosages.