Acute exposure to GH during exercise stimulates the turnover of free fatty acids in GH-deficient men

Jill A. Kanaley, Rolf Dall, Niels Møller, Sven C. Nielsen, Jens Sandahl Christiansen, Michael D. Jensen, Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The secretion of growth hormone (GH) increases acutely during exercise, but whether this is associated with the concomitant alterations in substrate metabolism has not previously been studied. We examined the effects of acute GH administration on palmitate, glucose, and protein metabolism before, during, and after 45 min of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in eight GH-deficient men (mean age = 40.8 ± 2.9 yr) on two occasions, with (+GH; 0.4 IU GH) and without GH administered (-GH). A group of healthy controls (n = 8, mean age = 40.4 ± 4.2 yr) were studied without GH. The GH replacement during exercise on the +GH study mimicked the endogenous GH profile seen in healthy controls. No significant difference in resting free fatty acid (FFA) flux was found between study days, but during exercise a greater FFA flux was found when GH was administered (211 ± 26 vs. 168 ± 28 μmol/min, P < 0.05) and remained elevated throughout recovery (P < 0.05). With GH administered, the exercise FFA flux was not significantly different from that observed in control subjects (188 ± 14 μmol/min), but the recovery flux was greater on the +GH day than in the controls (169 ± 17 vs. 119 ± 11 μmol/min, respectively, P < 0.01). A significant time effect (P < 0.01) for glucose rate of appearance from rest to exercise and recovery occurred in the GH-deficient adults and the controls, whereas there were no differences in glucose rate of disappearance. No significant effect across time was found for protein muscle balance. In conclusion, 1) acute exposure to GH during exercise stimulates the FFA release and turnover in GH-deficient adults, 2) GH does not significantly impact glucose or protein metabolism during exercise, and 3) the exercise-induced secretion of GH plays a significant role in the regulation of fatty acid metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-753
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Glucose turnover
  • Growth hormone
  • Lipolysis
  • Protein turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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