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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(7-8):691-6.

Higher postprandial serum ghrelin among African-American girls before puberty.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA. aellis04@uab.edu



Recent reports suggest that ghrelin regulation may differ by ethnicity and age. This study was designed to examine circulating ghrelin among overweight female African Americans across different age groups.


Eleven overweight peripubertal girls, 17 overweight pubertal girls, and a control group of 18 overweight African-American premenopausal women ingested a standard liquid meal after an overnight fast. Blood samples were obtained before the meal and for 4 h postchallenge. Participants rated appetite by a visual analog scale.


Peripubertal girls demonstrated higher postprandial ghrelin and lesser ghrelin suppression compared with adults (p < 0.05), corresponding with greater desire to eat across the test period (p = 0.017). Fasting ghrelin tended to be inversely related to fasting estradiol (r = -0.264, p = 0.076).


Compared with overweight African-American women, peripubertal girls had higher ghrelin as well as greater appetite after a standard meal. These results may suggest a dysregulation in ghrelin reflective of demands of growth.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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