Effects of total energy withdrawal (fasting) on thelevels of growth hormone, thyrotropin, cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, T4, T3, and rT3 in healthy males

Acta Med Scand. 1977 Jan;201(1-2):15-22. doi: 10.1111/j.0954-6820.1977.tb15648.x.


Ten days of total energy deprivation evoked the following endocrine changes in 12 healthy, normal-weight males: early and marked reductions and increments in the blood levels of T3 and reverse T3, respectively, with rapid returns to pre-starvation levels after refeeding; a slight and late decrease in the blood levels of T4; a minute reduction of the blood levels of TSH; a pronounced increase in the blood levels of growth hormone, but a return towards pre-exposure levels even before discontinuation of starving; a minor and gradual enhancement of the blood levels of cortisol, and an increase in nocturnal urinary adrenaline excretion. It is assumed that these changes reflect a complex regulatory mechanism, the purpose of which is to secure adequate energy supply to vital organs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catecholamines / urine*
  • Epinephrine / urine
  • Fasting*
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / urine
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood*
  • Thyrotropin / blood*
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Time Factors
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Catecholamines
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyrotropin
  • Growth Hormone
  • Thyroxine
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine