Endurance training and its effect upon the activity of the GH-ICFs system in the elderly

M. Deuschle*, W. F. Blum, J. Frystyk, H. Ørskov, U. Schweiger, B. Weber, A. Körner, U. Gotthardt, J. Schmider, H. Standhardt, I. Heuser

*Corresponding author for this work
36 Citations (Scopus)


There is an age-associated decline in the activity of the GH-IGFs system. However, so far, it has not been studied, whether this decline in somatotrophic activity might be preventable by intensive exercising. We studied 11 elderly male (50-78 years) marathon runners and 10 age-matched male (52-73 years) sedentary controls to evaluate plasma concentrations of GH, total and free IGF-I and IGF-II and of IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3 and insulin. When comparing the two groups (runners vs controls) no differences were found in GH (1.0 ± 1.2 vs 1.3 ± 1.3 μg/l [mean ± SD]), IGF-1 (115 ± 23 vs 113 ± 21 μg/l), IGF-II (961 ± 192 vs 864 ± 125 μg/l), free IGF-1 (227 ± 80 vs 318 ± 146 ng/l), free IGf-II (563 ± 249 vs 492 ± 108 ng/l), IGFBP-3 (2403 ± 515 vs 2307 ± 326 μg/l) or insulin (26 ± 13 vs 27 ± 18 mU/l). However, IGFBP-1 (4.44 ± 2.61 vs 2.28 ± 0.93 μg/l) and IGFBP-2 (493 ± 143 vs 340 ± 186 μg/l) were found to be significantly increased in marathon runners. In conclusion, our findings do not support the hypothesis that the age-associated decline in GH, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 may be preventable by intensive endurance trailing. However, marathon running affects the regulation of the GH-IGFs system activity at the level of IGFBP-1 and -BP-2.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of sports medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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