Growth hormone (GH) exerts IGF-I dependent protein anabolic and direct lipolytic effects. Obesity reversibly suppresses GH secretion driven by elevated FFA levels, whereas serum IGF-I levels remain normal or elevated due to elevated portal insulin levels. Fasting in lean individuals suppresses hepatic IGF-I production and increases pituitary GH release, but this pattern is less pronounced in obesity. Fasting in obesity is associated with increased sensitivity to the insulin-antagonistic effects of GH. GH treatment in obesity induces a moderate reduction in fat mass and an increase in lean body mass but the therapeutic potential is uncertain.
Keywords: Growth hormone; Insulin-like growth factor I; Obesity.
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