Effect of a vegetarian diet and dexamethasone on plasma prolactin, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in men and women

Cancer Lett. 1979 Sep;7(5):273-82. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(79)80054-3.


This study reports the effect of a vegetarian diet and dexamethasone administration on the hormone status of healthy Caucasian men and premenopausal women. A lower nocturnal release of prolactin and testosterone occurred in men fed a vegetarian diet, while in women, dexamethasone administration decreased the nocturnal release of prolactin and caused a greater decrease of plasma dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). These results show that diet modification can induce hormonal changes, If similar changes occur in patients with breast and/or prostatic cancer, diet modification may be of benefit in these patients with tumors known to be hormonally dependent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone