Chasteberry’s POWERFUL Benefits For Women Explained in 5 minutes.

Chasteberry’s POWERFUL Benefits For Women Explained in 5 minutes.

Chasteberry, Vitex, Agnus castus, lots of different names for the same thing.

It’s often marketed towards women due to its potential role in mitigating the issues from premenstrual syndrome and for fertility practices.
Here’s a Quick Q&A table

FAQ’sAnswer
Can Chasteberry help with PMS? (Potentially) Yes, vitex could help with prolactin related issues involved in PMS
Can Chasteberry help with fertility? (Potentially) Yes, as is the case with prolactin, it can also interact with estrogen and LH to signal shifts in hormones to promote balance and regularity.
Will Chasteberry get my period back? No. Vitex should not be used as a standalone supplement to address any form of amenorrhea. amenorrhea is a multifaceted issue. Due to the complex nature of the problem, it is best to see a licensed Obstetrician or Gynecologist and see what interventions are necessary.
When should I avoid taking Chasteberry?If you have any dopamine-related ailments like Parkinson’s disease or schizophrenia, are pregnant/lactating or taking any medication such as Cabergoline (Cabaser), bromocriptine (Cycloset) or L-Dopa, Chasteberry could have negative interactions with these medications/Ailments.
https://mindlessandeasy.com/category/supps/Please see below for references to clinical literature.

How Chasteberry/Vitex works. (Mechanism of Action explained)

Vitex is dopaminergic, meaning it will signal the body to transmit dopamine.

Once signaled, dopamine will be released in the body and start effecting different systems.

One of dopamines’ functions is to regulate the amount of prolactin being produced.

Having higher than normal levels of prolactin is medically referred to as “Hyperprolactinemia”

When Vitex/Chasteberry is added to the mix, it regulates the amount of prolactin being produced.

It’s able to do this through feedback systems that detect the presence of excess prolactin in the body and prevent further production.[4][5]

This is due to dopamine’s interaction with D2 dopamine receptors which signals to lactotrophs to produce less prolactin. (this will also lead to the regulation of breastmilk output as a result.)

It’s also thought to have additional benefits in the context of fertility by binding to mu-opioid and Estrogen β receptors.[5][6]

This is due to the breakdown of Chasteberry into some specific metabolites, such as apigenin.

The flavonoid apigenin is present in Vitex and is thought to be the most ERβ selective,
which could lead to the signaling of balancing the estrogen and progesterone through negative feedback loops.

(If one is found to be too high or too low this could lead to proper homeostasis.)

How Chasteberry helps with PMS.

PMS is incredibly common and sometimes the conditions are more pronounced in some more than others.

The cause of PMS is multi-faceted but primarily linked to a dysregulated hormonal profile due to the onset of the luteal phase.

During the luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle, there is a sharp increase in the production of progesterone and a rise in estrogen while luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormones reach their nadir.

Alongside this, It’s found that women also have the highest level of prolactin during this time.

(for some women their prolactin levels are almost the same, but they may experience hypersensitivity to prolactin as a result of estradiol increases.)[7,8]

This sharp rise in estrogens and progesterone is often associated with things like water and mineral retention. [8]

This retention can lead to breast tenderness/swelling and general discomfort with self-image alongside emotional instability or irritability.

Chasteberry, when metabolized may be able to influence the hormonal profile of women with PMS.

This could be due to their role in promoting a negative feedback loop that causes a modest normalization of elevated hormones.

In short, Chasteberry gets broken down and helps regulate your hormones that get thrown out of wack during PMS

How it MAY help with menstruation/fertility.

Fertility is an incredibly complex series of systems with a myriad of potential causes for disruption.

Incredibly thorough and comprehensive resource for this exists and I HIGHLY recommend THIS article for anyone interested.

American Family Physician did an outstanding job with their article.

We have a decent understanding of how chasteberry works inside of the body after being metabolized.

Alongside the dopaminergic effects of Chasteberry, the estrogenic metabolites that are also speculated to have opioid receptor binding will help further augment some of the hormonal profiles.

Having too much progesterone, estrogen, or prolactin can lead to a shutdown of your regular cycle patterns.[4,5,6,8,9]

Specifically for Chasteberry, adequate regulation of prolactin can prevent the shutdown of the Gonadotropin-releasing hormone.

Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone is responsible for producing LH and may produce a favorable environment for favorable menstruation cycling to reoccur.[9]

However; If other factors that would cause problems with menstruation are present outside of this,
(like chronic starvation or other suppressive events.)

It will likely not provide much benefit as there will still be a constant factor of disruption present after metabolism and excretion.

How Chasteberry may help with mood

Due to it’s metabolism and ability to regulate our dopamine levels, chasteberry can significantly impact mood.

I mentioned this in previous sections, but outside of PMS and PMDD, it can potentially lead to a balance of serotonin and dopamine if there is an overproduction/under performance of either.

This is probably a very inefficient way of remedying poor mood, lack of motivation, and reward systems though.

Outside of potentially alleviating depressive symptoms and bringing back positive reward system, it may also help with being calmer and more friendly.

High levels of dopamine can lead to more aggressive and impulsive behaviors, as well as irritability. [11]

Getting the balance right can possibly leave someone more level headed.

In Conclusion

Chasteberry is THE a fertility aid in more “natural” spheres.

There is the potential for a HIGH LIKELIHOOD of positive outcomes due to its mechanism of action, so it can’t be entirely ruled out.

However; please don’t take this as your ONLY means of fixing whatever problem you may be facing.

This is just one of many tools in your arsenal to try out.

Lastly, don’t forget that supplements are not intended to diagnosetreatcure, or prevent any disease.

If you have any experiences with chasteberry, let me know!

Until next time, Toodles!

Citations

  1. Pharmacological activities of Vitex agnus-castus extracts in vitro
  2. Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) – Pharmacology and clinical indications
  3. Clinical outcomes and management of mechanism-based inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A4
  4. Mechanisms Underlying Differential D1 versus D2 Dopamine Receptor Regulation of Inhibition in Prefrontal Cortex 
  5. Brattström, A. (2014) Dopaminergic activity of Vitex diterpenoids. USA: Patent No. US 8,637,099 B2, 28 January 2014.
  6. Evidence for estrogen receptor beta-selective activity of Vitex agnus-castus and isolated flavones
  7. Reproductive Experience Reduces Circulating 17β-Estradiol and Prolactin Levels during Proestrus and Alters Estrogen Sensitivity in Female Rats
  8. The psychobiology of premenstrual dysphoria: The role of prolactin
  9. https://www.jucm.com/unexpected-cause-amenorrhea/
  10. Opioidergic mechanisms underlying the actions of Vitex agnus-castus L
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2612120/

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