Fasting ghrelin levels are decreased in obese subjects and are significantly related with insulin resistance and body mass index

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Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences


© 2017 Dimitrios Papandreou, Christos Karavolias, Fotini Arvaniti, Eleana Kafeza, Fatima Sidawi. BACKGROUND: Ghrelin is a 28-amino acid peptide that predominantly produced by the stomach. Strong evidence indicates the effects of ghrelin in the regulation of metabolic functions and its potential role in the aetiology of obesity. AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of ghrelin levels with obesity, insulin resistance and glucose in normal and obese subjects. METHODS: Thirteen normal (n = 13) and seven (n = 7) obese weight subjects aged 20-22 participated in the study. Fasting plasma ghrelin, insulin and glucose levels were measured after overnight fasting. HOMA-IR was calculated to evaluate insulin resistance. RESULTS: Ghrelin and insulin levels were found to be statistically significantly lower and higher in obese subjects (P < 0.001), respectively. Glucose levels were clinically higher in obese subjects but not statistically significant. Fasting plasma ghrelin was negatively correlated with BMI (r = -0.77, P < 0.001), fasting insulin levels (r = -0.55, P < 0.001) and HOMA-IR (r = -0.66, P < 0.001). There was no correlation between ghrelin and glucose. In multiple regression analysis, insulin levels (Beta: -2.66, 95% CI: -2.49, -2.78, P < 0.001) HOMA-IR (Beta: -2.41, 95% CI: -2.33, -2.55, P < 0.001) and BMI (Beta: -1.77, 95% CI: -1.66, -1.89, P < 0.001) were significant independent determinants of fasting ghrelin. CONCLUSION: Obese subjects have low fasting ghrelin levels that they are significantly related to insulin resistance and body mass index. More prospective studies are needed to establish the role of ghrelin in the pathogenesis of human obesity.

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