, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 723-727
Date: 31 Mar 2014

Ghrelin secretion in severely obese subjects before and after a 3-week integrated body mass reduction program

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Ghrelin, the endogenous ligand of GH-secretagogue receptors, has been implicated in the regulation of feeding behavior and energy balance. Aim of the study was to investigate ghrelin levels in fasting conditions and after a standard meal test in obese subjects before and after a 3-week integrated body weight reduction (BWR) program (consisting of energyrestricted diet, exercise training, psychological counselling and nutritional education). Weight, height, fat mass, fat free mass (by impedentiometry), circulating ghrelin, insulin and leptin levels were evaluated in 10 obese subjects (3 male, 7 female; mean age: 35±9.3 yr; body mass index BMI: 45.2±10.6 kg/m2) before and after weight reduction. At baseline, obese subjects showed significantly lower ghrelin levels than controls, which were negatively correlated with BMI, weight, insulin and leptin levels. Fasting ghrelin levels were not modified by standard meal test in obese subjects (from 110.8±69.7 to 91.8±70.2 pmol/l p=ns), while a significant reduction was observed in controls (from 352.4±176.7 to 199.0±105.2 pmol/l; p<0.01). After a 3-week integrated BWR program obese subjects significantly reduced weight, BMI and leptin levels, while no significant changes were found both in fasting ghrelin and in ghrelin response after the meal. In conclusion, 5% weight loss obtained after a short-term period of integrated BWR program is not sufficient to normalize fasting ghrelin levels nor to restore the normal ghrelin suppression after a meal in severely obese subjects.