Growth hormone administration in addition to a very low calorie diet and an exercise program in obese subjects

M L Drent, L D Wever, H J Adèr, E A van der Veen

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A major problem of weight reduction in obesity is the undesirable loss of lean body mass that accompanies fat loss, particularly in severe calorie restriction. In order to achieve maximal fat loss, but without great loss of lean tissue, growth hormone (GH) in a dose of 6 U/day subcutaneously was added to a very low calorie diet and an exercise program for moderately obese subjects. Body weight, body composition and hormonal status were studied during an eight-week period. The results of seven patients using GH (seven females; mean age 39.1 +/- 7.9 years; mean body weight 94.2 +/- 10.7 kg; mean body mass index 35.1 +/- 2.3 kg/m2) were compared to the results of eight patients using placebo (two males, six females; mean age 38.9 +/- 10.4 years; 100.0 +/- 11.0 kg; mean body mass index 32.9 +/- 1.9 kg/m2). The groups were comparable for demographic data. Both serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) levels became significantly higher in the GH group (p = 0.001 and p = 0.014, respectively). Mean serum IGF-I levels increased from 29.0 +/- 8.19 nmol/l at randomization to 50.14 +/- 14.66 nmol/l after 2 weeks in the GH group, whereas the levels decreased from 34.25 +/- 10.26 nmol/l to 27.63 +/- 8.14 nmol/l in the placebo group. After two weeks, IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels stabilized. In the first half of the study serum free triiodothyronine (T3) levels remained stable in the GH group, whereas a decrease was found in the placebo group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-72
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean journal of endocrinology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1995


  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose/metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins/metabolism
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake
  • Epinephrine/blood
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Glucagon/blood
  • Growth Hormone/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/metabolism
  • Insulin/blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine/blood
  • Obesity/therapy
  • Placebos
  • Thyrotropin/blood
  • Triiodothyronine/blood

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