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    The study was designed to investigate whether sports-induced elevation of testosterone level impacts on the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I (GH-IGF-I) axis and body composition, especially skeletal muscle mass. The study included 12 male wrestlers aged 21.1 ± 1.7 years and 10 male nonathletes aged 21.1 ± 1.2 years. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements in the group of nonathlete men were carried out once, while for wrestlers they were carried out twice, that is, on the 1st and 14th days of the training camp. The levels of resting free testosterone (fT), cortisol (C), and human growth hormone (hGH) were significantly higher in the athletes than in nonathletes. A 2-week sports training induced a significant reduction in fT, IGF-I, and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels and a rise in C level. Increased C level and reduced fT level in the athletes' blood caused a rise in C/fT from the level of 39.95 ± 4.97 nmol/L to 59.73 ± 10.09 nmol/L (p < .05). A negative correlation was demonstrated between C/fT ratio and IGF-I level (r = -0.474, p < .05), which may indicate an inhibitory impact of high C level and low fT concentration on IGF-I release in response to sports training. Sports activity induces significant changes in the C/fT ratio that can impact on the secretion of GH and IGF-I from the liver and finally on the fat-free body mass. The quantification of GH-IGF-I axis in relation to testosterone level could be a useful diagnostic tool in biochemical assessment of the regenerative ability of skeletal muscle or provide evidence of the early stages of muscle functional overload.


    Barbara Morawin, Anna Kasperska, Agnieszka Zembron-Lacny. The Impact of Professional Sports Activity on GH-IGF-I Axis in Relation to Testosterone Level. American journal of men's health. 2020 Jan-Feb;14(1):1557988319900829

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    PMID: 32102608

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