Obese individuals are frequently hyperleptinemic and insulin resistant. Chronic exercise is associated with improvements in plasma leptin level and insulin sensitivity; however, little is known about the acute effect of exercise on these parameters. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute effect of aerobic exercise on plasma leptin and insulin sensitivity in obese women with stable caloric intake.
Patients and methods: Twenty-three obese women (age 41.2 +/- 10.3 years, body mass index 40.7 +/- 6.7 kg/m2) were included to the study. All subjects were admitted to an exercise program (45-minute walking sessions at 60-80% of maximum heart rate) every day except weekends for four weeks (total 20 exercise sessions). Insulin resistance was evaluated by HOMA model. Plasma glucose, insulin and leptin levels were determined at baseline and at the end of the first, seventh, and twentieth exercise session.
Results: Baseline and at the end of the first, seventh, and twentieth exercise session plasma leptin levels were 59.1 +/- 20.1, 58.5 +/- 21.0, 53.4 +/- 21.9, and 51.2 +/- 20.5 ng/ml and HOMA-r were 2.75 +/- 1.47, 1.77 +/- 0.71, 1.73 +/- 0.89, 1.62 +/- 0. 70, respectively. Compared to baseline, at the end of the seventh (p = 0.021) and twentieth exercise session (p = 0.003), plasma leptin levels were significantly low. Plasma leptin level did not change significantly at the end of the first exercise session (p > 0.05). At the end of the first exercise session (p = 0.005), end of the seventh (p = 0.003) and twentieth exercise session (p = 0.007) HOMA-r was lower than baseline. There was no correlation between weight loss during exercise period and the change of leptin, and HOMA-r. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin and leptin levels were determined at baseline and at the end of the first, seventh, and twentieth exercise session.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that acute exercise decreases insulin resistance at the first exercise session with no effect on leptin levels. Significant leptin decrement was evident at the first week and lasted during the entire four weeks exercise session.