Hormonal changes in normal men under marginally negative energy balance

Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Jun;39(6):930-6. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/39.6.930.


Six men were confined to a metabolic unit for 105 days. Their assigned work and energy intake were varied throughout six metabolic periods in order to create either a marginally negative (-15%) or an equilibrated energy balance. They were fed a defined diet providing a constant amount of protein. At each metabolic period, T4, T3, reverse T3(rT3), free T3, free reverse T3, thyroid-stimulating hormone, cortisol, cortisol-binding globulin, testosterone, and testosterone/estradiol-binding globulin were measured. Free urinary cortisol was measured daily. Results show that serum thyroid hormones are sensitive to marginal changes in energy intake, expenditure, and balance. The ratio T4/T3 appears to be more sensitive to the balance itself, with the ratio T3/rT3 being more sensitive to the intake and expenditure level at which this balance is established. Regulations of T3 and rT3 production are probably distinct. Urinary cortisol did not show any variation that could be related to the energy balance. However, daily urinary cortisol was correlated to daily urinary nitrogen excretion. No change in serum testosterone was found.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fasting
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Hydrocortisone / urine
  • Male
  • Nitrogen / urine
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood*
  • Thyrotropin / blood*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • cortisol binding globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Thyrotropin
  • Nitrogen
  • Hydrocortisone