The effect of exercise training on leptin levels in obese males.

W.J. Pasman*, K.R. Westerterp, M.S. Plantenga, W.H.M. Saris

*Corresponding author for this work

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Maastricht University, Department of Human Biology, The Netherlands.

The effect of endurance training on plasma leptin levels was investigated in 15 obese male subjects (age 37.3 +/- 5.2 yr, body weight 96.5 +/- 13.6 kg, and body mass index 29.8 +/- 3.0 kg/m2) in a weight loss and exercise program. After 4 mo of treatment consisting of a very low energy diet (VLED) and endurance exercise training (3-4 times weekly, 1 h sessions, moderate intensity), two groups were formed. One group continued the exercise sessions (trained subjects, n = 7) and the other group stopped with the exercise program (control, n = 8). Measurements of anthropometry, aerobic power, and fasted blood samples were executed at fixed time points (0, 2, 4, 10, and 16 mo). With partial regression analysis, keeping the changes in insulin and body fat percentage constant, it was shown that the number of hours of exercise training was significantly correlated with changes in leptin levels, during the 16-mo period (r = 0.56, P < 0.05). Changes in insulin levels were significantly related to the changes in leptin levels (r = 0.47, P < 0.05), which were less for changes in body fat percentage (r = 0.42, P = 0.07). During the VLED, the change in insulin concentration affected leptin levels significantly (r = 0.79) but changes in body fat percentage were not noted. It is concluded that endurance exercise training decreased plasma leptin levels independently of changes in plasma insulin levels and body fat percentage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E280-E286
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology (Consolidated)
Issue number2 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


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