Interleukin-6 and Hepcidin Levels during Hormone-Deplete and Hormone-Replete Phases of an Oral Contraceptive Cycle: A Pilot Study

Marc Sim, Brian Dawson, Grant Landers, Dorine W. Swinkels, Erwin Wiegerinck, Bu B. Yeap, Debbie Trinder, Peter Peeling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)100-105
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnnals of Nutrition and Metabolism: European journal of nutrition, metabolic diseases and dietetics
    Volume70
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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