Body composition, physical exercise, growth hormone and obesity

Eat Weight Disord. 2001 Sep;6(3 Suppl):28-37.


In summary, available literature indicates that GH secretion is blunted profoundly in individuals with relative or absolute obesity. Accumulation of AVF particularly represses GH release. Administration of GH to obese adults decreases total body fat and especially AVF. Furthermore, GH supplementation combined with dietary restriction and/or exercise appears to enhance favorable changes in body composition. Although exercise is a powerful stimulus to GH release, the GH response to exercise is blunted in older and obese individuals. This suggests that higher relative exercise intensities may be necessary for exercise alone to stimulate adequate GH release in obese subjects. In as much as exercise in combination with a second stimulus of GH release (e.g. GHRP-2, L-arginine) drives GH release synergistically, we propose that combining exercise and a GH secretagogue may have utility in restoring GH release in obese adults. Taken as a whole, available data suggest that GH repletion regimens in combination with regular exercise and relevant dietary intervention may provide a tripartite strategy for the management of significant obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Body Composition*
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Exercise*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Human Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Human Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Obesity / physiopathology*


  • Human Growth Hormone