Elevated PYY is associated with energy deficiency and indices of subclinical disordered eating in exercising women with hypothalamic amenorrhea

Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):184-92. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.09.016. Epub 2008 Sep 25.


The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to determine if gastrointestinal hormones, associated with energy intake and energy balance, are altered in exercising women with hypothalamic amenorrhea and (2) to assess the association between gastrointestinal hormones and behavioural indicators of subclinical disordered eating in exercising women with hypothalamic amenorrhea. This cross-sectional study analyzed serum ghrelin, peptide YY (PYY), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), menstrual status (by E1G and PdG), resting energy expenditure (REE), and subclinical eating behaviours in sedentary ovulatory (SedOv), exercising ovulatory (ExOv), and exercising amenorrheic (ExAmen) women. Groups were similar with respect to age (23.8+/-0.6 years) and BMI (21.4+/-0.3 kg/m(2)). The ratio of REE to predicted REE (REE:predicted REE) was 0.94+/-0.02, 0.94+/-0.02, and 0.88+/-0.02 in the SedOv, ExOv, and ExAmen groups, respectively. The REE:predicted REE in the ExAmen group was consistent with an energy deficiency. LogPYY, ghrelin, dietary cognitive restraint, and drive for thinness were elevated in the ExAmen group compared to other groups. GLP-1 concentrations were similar among groups. LogPYY correlated with drive for thinness and REE/FFM. In conclusion, fasting PYY and ghrelin concentrations are elevated in exercising women with FHA and both gastrointestinal peptides may serve as a proxy indicator of energy deficiency in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / blood*
  • Amenorrhea / physiopathology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Intake*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Exercise* / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / blood*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / physiopathology
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Peptide YY / blood*
  • Thinness / psychology


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide YY
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1