Foods and Nutrients for Improved Pituitary Gland Function

The pituitary gland is a tiny gland located at the base of the brain. It is about the size of a pea and is located between the optic nerves. The pituitary gland is sometimes called the "master gland" because it controls hormone functions. Since this gland plays such an important role in the body, it is important to stimulate the pituitary gland and maintain a healthy hormone level. There are many ways to adjust your diet to aid the pituitary gland.

A plate with grilled salmon and green beans. (Image: Elena_Danileiko/iStock/Getty Images)

Pituitary Function

The pituitary gland is sometimes referred to as the thermostat because it controls the other hormone secreting glands in the body. It had the ability to monitor and send appropriate signals to regulate hormones. It controls functions such as thyroid activity, growth, urine production and the function of other organs in the body. The pituitary has two main compartments, the anterior pituitary and the posterior pituitary. Each of these compartments have different cellular make up and are responsible for different hormones.


High protein foods cause the pituitary gland to release more of the numerous hormones it secretes, particularly human growth hormone, HGH. The building blocks of proteins are amino acids. They cause the increase in secretion of HGH, which is a protein-based hormone. Sources of protein include lean beef, fish, poultry, nuts, soy and eggs. If you have kidney disease, consult your physician before adding extra protein to your diet.


Manganese is an mineral responsible for many biochemical reactions and is necessary for proper brain function. The body contains between 15 to 20 mg of manganese. It is mainly stored in the bones, however there is a portion stored in the pituitary gland. In a study published in the "American Journal of Neuroradiology," researchers report the pituitary gland has a natural liking for manganese. The antioxidant properties protects the nervous system and keeps the pituitary functioning. Leafy greens, nuts, legumes and whole grains are the best sources of manganese.


Consuming foods containing vitamin E and vitamins D are effective in stimulating the pituitary gland. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant. It has a role in hormone production and aids in protecting the pituitary from damaging free radicals that can decrease the pituitary's ability to function. Vitamin D plays a role in the pituitary gene expression, cellular growth and the ability to secrete hormones. Vitamins can be obtained from a balanced diet or consuming a multivitamin. Never take vitamin supplements before consulting your doctor.

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