Hormonal variation during physical exertion at high altitude

J. Sutton, F. Garmendia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The influence of the physical exercise at high altitude on the endocrine function was studied in 8 normal native men of sea level and in 8 natives men of high altitude. The sea level dwellers were studied both, at sea level, during an acute exposure to low barometric pressure and after 3 months of acclimatization to altitudes over 3,500 meters above the sea level. The experiments at high altitude were conducted at an altitude of 4,500 meters above the sea level. Two types of exercise were carried out, sub-maximal and maximal, at fasting state, between 8 and 10 a.m. During an acute exposure to altitude the physical exercise produced a marked rise of glucose, cortisol and growth hormone and a fall in the insulin content of plasma. In the sea level dwellers, acclimatized to altitude during 3 months, an elevation of growth hormone was observed only during maximal physical effort. Marked variation in glucose and cortisol were observed during both types of exercise. This shows that in these subjects some adaptative changes have ocurred but of lesser extent as those observed in altitude natives. In the high altitude native higher basal concentrations of growth hormone and glucagón as well as a lower glucose concentration in blood, were found. During exercise the high altitude dweller showed no significant changes in somatotropin, meanwhile an important elevation of cortisol occurred. These findings indicate that the high altitude native has metabolic and endocrine responses to exercise similar to those found in well fitted atletes of sea level. The exposure to altitude provoked a rise in glucagon concentration directly proportional to the time of exposition ot altitude. The physical exercise did not elucidate any change in the glucagon content of blood.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalArchivos de biologia andina
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1977

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