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Growth Horm IGF Res. 2005 Dec;15(6):397-404. Epub 2005 Oct 5.

GH secretion in acute exercise may result in post-exercise lipolysis.

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Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, St. Thomas' Hospital, GKT School of Medicine, Kings College, London, UK.


Exercise is a potent stimulator of growth hormone (GH) secretion. We hypothesised that after a short bout of intense exercise GH may increase lipolysis during recovery. In 7 moderately trained young male subjects (21.8 +/- 0.5 years) and 7 moderately trained older male subjects (56.0 +/- 1.0 years) [(2)H(5)] glycerol was infused for 370min to measure glycerol production rate (R(a)), a measure of lipolysis. At 130 min subjects exercised on a cycle ergonometer for 20 min at 70% V(O2 max), followed by rest for 220 min. On a separate occasion the study was repeated in the young subjects with a 1h GH infusion (4microgkg(-1)h(-1)) at 130 min instead of exercise. In response to exercise, catecholamines (p < 0.02) and glycerol R(a) (p < 0.01) increased, peaking during exercise. GH concentration increased in response to exercise (p < 0.01), peaking after exercise (150-160 min) in both groups with no significant difference in peak response between groups. A post-exercise rise in glycerol R(a) was demonstrated in both groups peaking at 265-295 min in the older group (p < 0.002, peak vs. basal) and continuing to rise until 370 min in the young group (p < 0.01, peak vs. basal). The timing and magnitude of this was reproduced with the GH infusion. There was a significant correlation between the peak GH response to exercise and the post-exercise rise in glycerol R(a) measured as area under the curve (r=0.57, p < 0.04). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that the GH response to acute exercise may increase lipolysis during recovery.

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