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We studied the effect of 3 weeks of moderate calorie restriction on 5-HT-mediated prolactin (PRL) release in healthy volunteers using the 5-HT-releasing agent d-fenfluramine. In women, dieting significantly lowered plasma total and free tryptophan (TRP) and increased the PRL response to d-fenfluramine. None of these measures were altered in men who dieted. These findings add to the data indicating that dieting alters brain 5-HT function in women, perhaps as a consequence of reducing the availability of plasma TRP.


Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





89 - 97


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Brain, Diet, Reducing, Female, Fenfluramine, Humans, Male, Prolactin, Reproducibility of Results, Serotonin, Sex Characteristics, Tryptophan