The hormone prolactin is created by the pituitary gland and is responsible for stimulating breast milk development in nursing mothers as well as the natural development of the breasts in all women. Excess production of prolactin can occur in women and men and can result in the creation of breast milk unassociated with childbirth, irregular periods, infertility and impotence in men. There are several food sources that offer prolactin-reducing benefits.
Foods High in Zinc
Foods that are high in zinc content are recommended. Zinc works hand in hand with vitamin B6 to manage metabolic processes and to lower prolactin levels. Zinc also proves beneficial for women seeking to manage symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. Poultry, red meats, shellfish, shrimp, crabs, oysters, Gouda cheese, pinto beans, green beans, tofu, peanuts, soybeans and sunflower seeds are natural sources of zinc.
Males 19 and older need 11 milligrams of zinc a day; females require 8 mg of zinc per day, and pregnant women as well as women who are breastfeeding require 11 to 13 mg of zinc daily for optimal health. Zinc can also be consumed as a supplement at a dosage of one 50 milligram capsule one time a day to help lower prolactin levels.
Foods High in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 works with zinc to keep your hormone levels balanced to help in naturally lowering prolactin levels. Males require 1.3 to 1.7 mg of vitamin B6 daily, while females require 1.2 to 1.5 mg of vitamin B6 every day. Pregnant women require 1.9 mg of vitamin B6 and nursing mothers require 2.0 mg of vitamin B6 daily for optimal health. Natural food sources high in vitamin B6 include whole grain flour, wheat germ, beef liver, sunflower seeds, bran, carrots, brown rice, soybeans, spinach, cheese, lentils, shrimp, salmon, tuna, turkey and chicken.
In a study published in the peer-reviewed journal American Family Physician, Beatrix Roemheld-Hamm, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of New Jersey, asserts that the use of chasteberry sometimes proves effective in reducing prolactin hormone levels. Chasteberry is a peppery-tasting herb that has been known to increase the production of milk in nursing mothers. According to Roemheld-Hamm, any effects on prolactin release are dose-dependent; low doses of chasteberry result in an increase of prolactin, while higher doses sometimes reduce prolactin levels in some individuals. This herb can be consumed as a tea, or you can mix 20 to 40 mg of chasteberry extract with water for consumption each day.
While there is no evidence of potential drug interactions when chasteberry is used, the herb can have dopaminergic effects, causing the release of dopamine, and can, therefore, possibly interact with medications used for treating Parkinson's disease, such as metoclopramide and bromocriptine. The use of this herb during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended at this time, because there are insufficient studies to support such use. Consult a physician before consuming this herb to determine if it is appropriate for your needs.