Prolactin is a peptide hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It is commonly known for the promoting milk production (or lactogenesis), and breast development among women. However, it has over 300 functions in the bodies of men and women, which caused it to gain the recognition as the multipurpose hormone.
Although at a lesser extent to GnRH, prolactin interacts with the luteinizing hormone receptors found in testicular Leydig cells. Their interaction result to testosterone secretion and spermatogenesis. However, due to unknown reasons, prolactin decreases GnRH production.
Aside from this, prolactin moderates the production of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) by the immune system. It promotes a more inflammatory response and suppresses anti-inflammatory responses of the immune system. This is done to defend the body in situations wherein an inflammatory response is more appropriate than an anti-inflammatory response.
It is responsible for the body’s utilization of certain nutrients. It enables sodium, chloride, and calcium to pass through intestinal epithelial membranes. In the kidney, prolactin helps it to retain sodium, potassium, and water.
Moreover, prolactin is responsible for giving the sense of gratification after sexual acts. It does this by countering the effects of dopamine, which is the hormone responsible for sexual arousal. In fact, prolactin levels are a possible indicator of the degree of sexual satisfaction and relaxation.
Your prolactin levels can indicate a lot of things about your sex hormone levels. And, it is relatively more affordable and practical to monitor and conduct tests to check your prolactin levels. For these reasons, regular monitoring of prolactin is advisable to make sure the levels of sex hormone in your body, especially testosterone, are where they should be.
Here are some health indicators based on prolactin levels:
For men, normal prolactin levels range from, at least, 5ug/L up to a maximum of 25 ug/L. Beyond this range, men can experience infertility, low sexual desire and testosterone, and erectile dysfunction for men.
To get your prolactin levels optimal, exercise and adequate amount of good quality sleep have been found to be beneficial. Moderate supplementation with mucuna, ginseng, uridine, and ginkgo biloba have also been observed to aid in getting normal prolactin levels.