Beta Endorphin Levels in PCOS Women: Relationship With Insulin Secretion

Lisa M. Pastore, Patricia L. Dougherty, Amelia P. Bailey, Anjie Li, Allan H. Goldfarb


Background: An understanding of the relationship between beta endorphin (Beta) with insulin, glucose and gonadotropins may explain how non-pharmacologic treatment options such as exercise and acupuncture may be beneficial to women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The objective was to examine the correlation of Beta with insulin, glucose and gonadotropins, controlling for exercise and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: 40 untreated women with a confirmed diagnosis of PCOS (NIH criteria) were tested. Height, exercise frequency and exercise intensity were self-reported; weight was measured by nurses. Blood samples were collected for the biological measures of interest. The setting was an academic US medical center. Statistical analyses consisted of Spearman correlations and partial correlations with an alpha = 0.05. The main outcome measures included plasma Beta, insulin and glucose (fasting and AUC) from a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, serum gonadotropins.

Results: The mean Beta level was 7.92 pmol/mL (sd = 4.0, range 1.92 - 18.7, 25%/75% interquartile range 4.56 - 11.29). Beta was associated with loge AUC-insulin (P = 0.04) after adjustment for exercise as measured via energy equivalents; this correlation was unaffected by additional control of BMI. No relationship between Beta and luteinizing hormone, the luteinizing hormone/follicle stimulating hormone ratio, or glucose was seen after accounting for BMI and exercise.

Conclusion: Beta was positively correlated with AUC-insulin after accounting for exercise. Future studies could investigate the affects of Beta-potentiating therapies, such as exercise and acupuncture, in women with PCOS to determine how these changes in Beta are related to insulin/glucagon balance.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;2(1):11-20


Beta endorphin; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Insulin; Exercise

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, bimonthly, ISSN 1923-2861 (print), 1923-287X (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.