Growth Hormone Response to Exercise: Implications for Body Growth



The various forms of exercise that occur during childhood and adolescence should not just be seen as fun activities which may also be “good” for children but as an obligatory component of physiological growth. Exe4cose-related benefits include cardiovascular protection, bone/muscle development, psychological balance, weight control, and many others.  The specific biochemical link between exercise and many related health effects remain incompletely defined, but a pivotal role appears to be played by exercise-induced stimulation of growth hormone of the GH–IGF-I axis and its interaction with molecules regulating inflammatory/oxidative homeostasis. Children spontaneously engage in brief but repeated, often intense bouts of exercise, each causing GH release and each therefore providing an expected and necessary stimulus for healthy development. Both the magnitude of the GH response to exercise and of the multiple inducible glucoregulatory, inflammatory, and oxidative factors that interact with GH depend on type, format, duration, and intensity of exercise, underscoring the importance of optimizing exercise characteristics to preserve the expected GH-mediated effects. Further, numerous factors can alter physiological GH responses, either acutely and reversibly (prior intense exercise, hypoglycemia, and lipid ingestion) or permanently (obesity and type 1 diabetes). The full manifestation of GH effects, in the context of the overall health effects of exercise, must therefore rely on the future effort to complete our current understanding of all related underlying mechanisms, many of which remain unclear.


Growth Hormone Growth Hormone Secretion Exercise Bout Growth Hormone Response Growth Hormone Release 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Body mass index


Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor


Growth hormone


Growth hormone-releasing hormone


Human growth hormone-releasing peptide


Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis


Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein I


Insulin-like growth factor I


Insulin-like growth factor-releasing peptide


Interleukin 1


Interleukin 1 beta


Interleukin 6


Interleukin 8


Interleukin 10


Tumor Necrosis Factor


Tumor necrosis factor receptor-1



The authors would like to acknowledge the expert editorial assistance of Ms Rebecca Flores. Dr Galassetti’s research is supported by research grant by the NIH (NIDDK) and by the American Diabetes Association.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICTS, UCIOrangeUSA
  2. 2.West Sacramento, School of Medicine, University of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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