Rigorous running increases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I without altering ghrelin. Academic Article uri icon


  • It has been suggested that ghrelin may play a role in growth hormone (GH) responses to exercise. The present study was designed to determine whether ghrelin, GH, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were altered by a progressively intense running protocol. Six well-trained male volunteers completed a progressively intense intermittent exercise trial on a treadmill that included four exercise intensities: 60%, 75%, 90%, and 100% of Vo2max. Blood samples were collected before exercise, after each exercise intensity, and at 15 and 30 mins following the exercise protocol. Subjects also completed a separate control trial at the same time of day that excluded exercise. GH changed significantly over time, and GH area under the curve (AUC) was significantly higher in the exercise trial than the control trial. Area under the curve IGF-I levels for the exercise trial were significantly higher than the control trial. There was no difference in the ghrelin and IGFBP-3 responses to the exercise and control trials. Pearson correlation coefficients revealed significant relationships between ghrelin and both IGF-I and IGFBP-3; however, no relationship between ghrelin and GH was found. In conclusion, intense running produces increases in total IGF-I concentrations, which differs from findings in previous studies using less rigorous running protocols and less frequent blood sampling regimens. Moreover, running exercise that produces substantial increases in GH does not affect peripheral ghrelin levels; however, significant relationships between ghrelin and both IGF-I and IGFBP-3 exist during intense intermittent running and recovery, which warrants further investigation.

published proceedings

  • Exp Biol Med (Maywood)

author list (cited authors)

  • Kraemer, R. R., Durand, R. J., Acevedo, E. O., Johnson, L. G., Kraemer, G. R., Hebert, E. P., & Castracane, V. D.

citation count

  • 110

complete list of authors

  • Kraemer, RR||Durand, RJ||Acevedo, EO||Johnson, LG||Kraemer, GR||Hebert, EP||Castracane, VD

publication date

  • March 2004