Research: MUMFORD and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 251

Abstract

MUMFORD and COLLEAGUES, 1. Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rockville, MD; mumfords@mail.nih.gov; 2. Departments of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences and; 3. Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rockville, MD; 4. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC; 5. Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rockville, MD; Program of Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD; and; 6. School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR; 7. Epidemiology and Environmental Health, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY evaluated variations in serum antioxidant concentrations across the menstrual cycle and associations between antioxidants and reproductive hormones and anovulation among healthy women.

Background

Evidence is growing that the equilibrium between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants plays a vital role in women's reproductive health.

Methodology

The BioCycle Study, a prospective cohort, followed 259 women aged 18-44 y for up to 2 menstrual cycles. Serum fat-soluble vitamin and micronutrient (α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, retinol, lutein, lycopene, and β-carotene), ascorbic acid, and reproductive hormone concentrations were measured 5-8 times/cycle. The authors used weighted linear mixed models to assess associations between antioxidants and hormone concentrations, after adjustment for age, race, body mass index, parity, sleep, pain medication use, total energy intake, concurrent hormones, serum cholesterol, F2-isoprostanes, and other antioxidants. Generalized linear models were used to identify associations with anovulation.

Results

Serum antioxidant concentrations varied across the menstrual cycle. Retinol and α-tocopherol were associated with higher estradiol [RR: 1.00 pg/mL (95% CI: 0.67, 1.34 pg/mL); RR: 0.02 pg/mL (95% CI: 0.003, 0.03 pg/mL), respectively] and testosterone [RR: 0.61 ng/dL (95% CI: 0.44, 0.78 ng/dL); RR: 0.01 ng/dL (95% CI: 0.001, 0.01 ng/dL), respectively]. Ascorbic acid was associated with higher progesterone (RR: 0.15 ng/mL; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.25 ng/mL) and with lower follicle-stimulating hormone (RR: -0.06 mIU/mL; 95% CI: -0.09, -0.03 mIU/mL). The ratio of α- to γ-tocopherol was associated with an increased risk of anovulation (RR: 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.06).

Conclusion

These findings shed new light on the intricate associations between serum antioxidants and endogenous hormones in healthy premenopausal women and support the hypothesis that concentrations of serum vitamins affect steroidogenesis even after adjustment for oxidative stress.

References

Mumford SL1, Browne RW2, Schliep KC3, Schmelzer J4, Plowden TC5, Michels KA3, Sjaarda LA3, Zarek SM5, Perkins NJ3, Messer LC6, Radin RG3, Wactawski-Wende J7, Schisterman EF3. Serum Antioxidants Are Associated with Serum Reproductive Hormones and Ovulation among Healthy Women. J Nutr. 146(1):98-106. Jan 2016. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.217620. Epub Nov 18 2015.

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