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Metabolism. 2013 Feb;62(2):179-87. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Aug 18.

Effects of acute caloric restriction compared to caloric balance on the temporal response of the IGF-I system.

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Military Performance Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760, USA.



Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a key regulator of metabolism during altered energy states. The IGF-I system components respond to prolonged caloric restriction but it is not clear if this system responds similarly to acute caloric restriction. The purpose of this study was to characterize the IGF-I system response to acute caloric restriction with a secondary purpose of determining if two isocaloric diets with different ratios of carbohydrate to fat alter the IGF-I system under conditions of caloric balance.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design was used in which 27 subjects underwent three, 48-h experimental treatments: 1) caloric restriction 2) carbohydrate and 3) carbohydrate/fat. Blood was sampled periodically (6 time points total) for IGF-I (total and free), IGFBPs1-4, insulin and glucose. ANOVAs were used with significance set at P<0.05.


Total IGF-I decreased 7% during CR (P=0.051) and remained stable during CHO and CHO/F. Free IGF-I decreased 43% during CR (P<0.05) and remained stable during CHO and CHO/F. IGFBP-1 increased by 445% during CR (P<0.05) compared to CHO and CHO/F with no changes for IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-4. There was no change in glucose or insulin during CR over the course of the study. Insulin and glucose increased (P<0.05) after a meal in both the CHO and CHO/F groups with no difference between these two groups.


Our findings indicate that free IGF-I decreases and IGFBP-1 increases during caloric restriction, but they are not altered with diets differing in carbohydrate and fat content. Changes in free IGF-I and IGFBP-1 are sensitive to caloric restriction, and their measurement may be valuable in monitoring the physiological response to refeeding in those consuming suboptimal calories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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