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      Plasma Beta-Endorphin during Fasting in Man

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          Abstract

          To identify the effects of acute starvation on endogenous opioids in man, plasma β-endorphin (β-EP) was measured in 17 patients before, during and after fasting. Patients were assigned a posteriori into two groups: group A, comprised of 11 patients able to tolerate 5-7 days of fasting, and group B, comprised of 6 patients able to tolerate 10 days of fasting. Changes in plasma β-EP, serum cortisol, circulating nutritional markers, and their relative levels were assessed on the 5th and 10th days of fasting, and on the 5th and 10th days of the refeeding period. Beta-EP had increased by the 5th day (group A: 4.74 ± 0.42 to 6.91 ± 0.65 pmol/l, p < 0.01; group B: 3.60 ± 0.48 to 5.14 ± 0.22 pmol/l, p < 0.05, and remained at 5.05 ± 0.65 pmol/l on the 10th day (group B: 0.05 < p < 0.1) during fasting. Group B had lower levels of plasma β-EP on the 5th day of fasting than group A (p < 0.05). However, serum cortisol levels changed similarly in both groups. Plasma β-EP showed no significant correlation with either the percentage of body weight lost or the body mass index (kg/m<sup>2</sup>) over this study period. These findings indicate that plasma β-EP is elevated in the early phase of fasting, while not directly being associated with body weight changes. Plasma β-EP is lower and less activated in subjects who are able to tolerate fasting for longer periods.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          HRE
          Horm Res Paediatr
          10.1159/issn.1663-2818
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          1663-2818
          1663-2826
          1990
          1990
          02 December 2008
          : 33
          : 6
          : 239-243
          Affiliations
          aDepartment of Psychosomatic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka; bMedical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Beppu; cDepartment of Adolescent Medicine, Kitakyushu-Tsuyazaki Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan
          Article
          181525 Horm Res 1990;33:239–243
          10.1159/000181525
          2289782
          © 1990 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 5
          Categories
          Original Paper

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