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Nutr Neurosci. 2005 Jun;8(3):161-5.

Ghrelin and leptin levels of sojourners and acclimatized lowlanders at high altitude.

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Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi 110 054, India.


The circulatory levels of two appetite regulatory hormones i.e. leptin and ghrelin were estimated in sojourners and acclimatized subjects to investigate their possible role in high altitude (HA) induced anorexia. A group of 30 lowlanders who had never visited HA were inducted to a height of 3600 m by air and after 48 h they were further taken to an altitude of 4300 m by road. Blood samples were collected after 48 h stay at 3600 m and again after 48 h and 7 days of stay at 4300 m during 0700-0730 h. There was a decrease in energy intake (850 kcal/day) of sojourners, which resulted in loss of body weight by 2.12 kg at HA. At an altitude of 4300 m there was a significant increase in leptin over basal levels (54.9%, p < 0.001) at 48 h that persisted even after 7 days of stay at this altitude. Ghrelin levels of sojourners decreased by more than 30% in comparison to basal values at 48 h of ascent to HA. Leptin levels of acclimatized lowlanders were also higher in comparison with control group (acclimatized group 7.6 + 0.6 ng/ml vs. control 5.6 + 0.5 ng/ml, p < 0.01, n = 50).

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