Prague Med. Rep. 2015, 116, 290-302

How Does Energy Intake Influence the Levels of Certain Steroids?

Beáta Rácz, Michaela Dušková, Hana Jandíková, Martin Hill, Karel Vondra, Luboslav Stárka

Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic

Received September 10, 2015
Accepted November 16, 2015

The influence of steroid hormones on food intake is well described. However, there are only a few studies on the effect of food intake on steroid levels. The study involved eight non-smoker women (average age 29.48 ± 2.99 years; average BMI 21.3 ± 1.3 kg/m2); they did not use any kind of medication affecting steroidogenesis. We analysed the influence of four various stimuli on the levels of steroid hormones and melatonin. During their follicular phase of menstrual cycle, each woman had an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT), a standard breakfast and psyllium (a non-caloric fibre). Cortisol declined during each test, which is a physiological decline in the morning hours. In all tests (except of the application of the non-caloric fibre, psyllium), however, this decline was modified. After the standard breakfast there was an increase in cortisol at 40th minute. The OGTT and IVGTT tests led to a plateau in cortisol levels. Testosterone levels and those of other steroid hormones showed no relationships to tested stimulations. Oral and intravenous glucose have influenced physiological decline of melatonin levels. During the IVGTT test, melatonin levels started to increase at 20th minute, reaching a maximum at 40th minute. The OGTT test led to a delayed increase in melatonin levels, compared to IVGTT. Despite the fact that we performed the tests in the morning hours, when steroid hormone levels physiologically start to change due to their diurnal rhythm, we still found that food intake influences some of the hormone levels.


This study was supported by grant no. NT 12340 of the Internal Grant Agency of the Ministry of Health, Czech Republic.


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