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Helicobacter. 2005 Oct;10(5):373-8.

Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with reduced circulating ghrelin levels independent of body mass index.

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Health Administration Center, Wakayama University, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.



Ghrelin stimulates growth hormone and has orexigenic and adipogenic effects. Plasma ghrelin levels are reduced in obesity and possibly in Helicobacter pylori infection.


To investigate whether there was a relation between H. pylori infection, body mass index (BMI) and serum ghrelin or leptin levels.


University students undergoing an annual health check-up were invited to participate. H. pylori status was based on the presence of specific IgG H. pylori antibodies in urine. Fasting serum ghrelin, leptin levels, and pepsinogen I and II levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay (EIA).


Eight hundred and one students volunteered. There was no significant difference in the height and BMI between those with and without H. pylori infection. The population of ghrelin study consisted of 132 (66 H. pylori-positive and 66 H. pylori-negative) students matched for age, sex, and BMI. The ghrelin level in the H. pylori-positive group was significantly lower (median 55 pmol/l) compared to the H. pylori-negative group (103 pmol/l) (p < .00001). Leptin, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and HDL-cholesterol were not different between the two groups, whereas LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly higher (106 versus 100 mg/dl) (p = .03) in the H. pylori-positive group. Leptin levels correlated with the BMI (r = 0.53) (p < .00001). Among H. pylori-positive subjects, ghrelin correlated only with pepsinogen I levels (r = 0.26, p = .04).


H. pylori infection was associated with a reduction in circulating ghrelin levels independent of sex and BMI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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