GH: an overweight individual produces less GH than normal weight people. Although the growth hormone basic levels are normal, the highest secretory values are less frequent and as a consequence the total production is inferior.

The GH is a very important hormone that is responsible for the child’s height growth. In adults the GH assures muscle and bony trophism encreasing the muscle mass rather than the adipose one. This is the reason why this is an hormone which is much appreciated by sportsmen who are looking for the increasing of their levels by adopting the right strategies.

Physical training is a powerful stimulus for the GH secretion. The reaction of this hormone gets greater during the anaerobic exercises with an high production of the lactic acid. However a large increasing of the GH plasmatic levels can already be observed in the gymnastic exercises of low intensity (50% of the VO2max) which are fitter for the obese people.

Thyroid Hormones: Plasmatic levels of T4 (inactive form) are normal but the turnover of T3 (active form) increases. Then the greatest production of the thyroid hormones can be neutralized by the increased rapidity of digestion. These hormones are the main regulators of the body metabolism. In the hypothyroidism (that is a reduced production of T3 and T4) the basic metabolism is reduced of 40%; on the contrary an hyperthyroid individual has an accelerated body metabolism that is higher than the normal even of 25-50%.

Sometimes obesity is caused by a reduced thyroid function. On the other hand physical training cannot do much to get back the normal situation. Independently of the thyroid alterations regular physical exercises tend to increase the metabolism as well as the muscle mass and they intensely improve the general metabolic activity.

Endorphins: the plasma basic levels are normal, but the circadian rhythm disappears and there is no reaction to the secretor stimulus. These hormones have a strong analgesic and exciting power; their action is similar to the morphine.

Physical training is a potent stimulus for the secretion of endorphins and this is the reason why we have a sense of wellbeing and a sense of satisfaction after a physical exercise although our great effort.

Adrenal Corticotrophic Hormone ACTH and cortisol: the circadian rhythm is saved but the turnover increases. The cortisol, which is produced in response to the hypophysial hormone ACTH, causes district effects because it stimulates the development of the subcutaneous adipic tissue in the trunk and in the abdomen. Although during the physical training the secretion of cortisol increases, the physical exercise does not influence so much the plasma basic levels.

Gonodal axis: in human males the plasma levels of testosterone and of some proteins carrying them (SHBG) are reduced. If on the one hand the free testosterone levels are normal, on the other hand obese people have levels of estrogens that are slightly superior. In the adipose tissue there is an high concentration of an enzyme called aromatase which can transform the testosterone in estradiol.
The estrogens are hormones which are typically female and they can influence the body distribution of the adipose tissue concentrating it mainly in the thighs and in the gluteus.

In women obesity is connected to the precocious menarche (the first menstrual cycle) with frequent menstrual sufferings and more tendency to the follicular atresia. Hirsutism and ovarian polycistosis occur frequently.

Insulin: the menace of developing the type 2 diabetes mellitus doubles for every increase of 20% more than the normal weight.

In obese people the emerging of diabetes is connected to the insulin resistance which precedes its appearance. In this phase that is the very first step to the diabetes the binding power of insulin diminishes because of the reduced number and the affinity of the membrane receptors. Because of the difficulties glucose meets by passing from the bloodstream to the tissues the glycemia increases. Although the high hemetic concentration of glucose the cells needs to be fed because a little quantity of glucose is able to get to them. This deficiency of glucose in the cells stimulates the liver to produce them again and to put into circulation some more quantities. So they enter the vicious circle from where the organism tends to go out by increasing the production and the secretion of insulin. But when the pancreatic cells producing this hormone go as far as the borderline because of their overwork they can cause a functional decline resulting in diabetes.

If we consider that about 80% of ingested glucose is utilized by the muscle we realize that physical training plays an important role in the prevention of diabetes. The regular practice of aerobic exercises improves the cellular utilization of glucose and potentiates the action of insulin by reducing the risk of developing the type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Physical training also improves the lipid hematic order and the cardiocirculatory functions by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Meanwhile we have a reduction of cancer risk (colon cancer) and a general good mood (sport reduces the appearance of depression and of the anxiety connected to the overweight condition).

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