Background: In the past, elevated estradiol levels were reported to downregulate the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin, thereby potentially improving iron metabolism. As estrogen plays a role in regulating the menstrual cycle and can influence the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6; a hepcidin up-regulator), this investigation examined the effects of estradiol supplementation achieved by the use of a monophasic oral contraceptive pill (OCP) on IL-6, hepcidin levels and iron status during the hormone-deplete versus hormone-replete phases within an oral contraceptive cycle (OCC). Methods: Fifteen healthy female OCP users were recruited and provided a venous blood sample on 2 separate mornings during a 28-day period. These included (a) days 2-4 of the OCC, representing a hormone-free withdrawal period (WD); (b) days 12-14 of the OCC, representing the end of the first week of active hormone therapy (AHT). Results: IL-6 and hepcidin levels were not significantly different at WD and AHT. Serum ferritin was significantly higher (p = 0.039) during AHT as compared to WD. Conclusions: Fluctuations in OCP hormones (estradiol and/or progestogen) had no effect on basal IL-6 and hepcidin levels in young women. Nevertheless, elevated ferritin levels recorded during AHT may indicate that OCP hormones can positively influence iron stores within an OCC despite unchanged hepcidin levels.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism: European journal of nutrition, metabolic diseases and dietetics|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2017|