Effects of oral contraceptives on plasma neutral amino acids and cholesterol during a menstrual cycle.Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1996; 50(3):179-84.EJ
Concentrations of plasma neutral amino acids, i.e. threonine, serine, asparagine, glycine, alanine, citrulline, alpha-aminobutyric acid, valine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan, and serum cholesterol, were determined at the follicular (Day 4), mid-cycle (Day 16) and luteal (Day 25) phases of the menstrual cycle in 15 users of the new generation of combined oral contraceptives (OC), 11 on multiphase combined OC, and 17 controls.
The controls showed a decrease in the sum of amino acids to 95% at mid-cycle and 90% in the luteal phase relative to the follicular phase, and a significant decrease in the tyrosine level at the luteal relative to the follicular phase. Since there was no significant difference between the two OC subgroups in the levels of the specified variables at either of the phases, the two groups were considered together. The sum of amino acids in the OC group decreased to 89% at mid-cycle and 91% at the luteal phase relative to the follicular phase, indicating less metabolic effect than reported for older OC formulations. Compared to the controls, the OC group showed significant increased threonine level at the luteal phase, decreased glycine levels at mid-cycle and the luteal phases, decreased citrulline level at mid-cycle, and markedly decreased tyrosine levels at the mid-cycle and luteal phases. Neither total nor high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol differed significantly between the control and OC groups.
The results suggest that the metabolic effects of the new generation combined OC on neutral amino acids and cholesterol are only modest to slight, except for the effect on tyrosine, the brain noradrenaline precursor, which may cause disturbances of various noradrenaline-mediated central functions in susceptible subjects.