Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2005; 14(1): 37-54

Published online January 1, 2005

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Plasma Ghrelin Levels in Obese Adults: The Relationship to Obesity Indice

Jun Won Yang,Jung In Park,Sun Young Kim,Jae Cheol Kim1,Ki Jin Kim2,Dae-Yeol Lee

Department of Pediatrics, Research Institute of Clinical Medicine1, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju and College of Physical Education2, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea


Background: Ghrelin is a new gut-brain peptide that has somatotropic, orexigenic and adipogenic effects. The aim of the study was to examine the concentration of plasma ghrelin in obese adults, and evaluate the relationship between the plasma ghrelin levels and measured parameters in obese adults.
Methods: In this study, a total of 116 adults (male: 28, female: 76) was divided into two groups by their body mass index (BMI): obese (BMI >25, n=75) and control (BMI <25, n=41) groups. All subjects were evaluated according to their age, height, body weight, WHR, skinfold thickness, serum total cholesterol, LDL and HDL-cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, insulin and plasma ghrelin levels.
Results: Among anthropometric data, height, weight, BMI, WHR, percent body fat, and skinfold thickness were higher in obese group than that of control group. Serum total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglyceride (TG), glucose and insulin levels in obese group were significantly higher, compared to the control group. However, plasma ghrelin concentration in obese group is lower than that of control group. The plasma ghrelin concentration was negatively associated with BMI, subscapular skinfold thickness, WHR, cholesterol, triglyceride and insulin in total subjects including control and obese subjects. However, only height, weight and triceps skinfold thickness had significant relationships with plasma grhrelin levels in obese subjects.
Conclusion: This study showed that obese adults had low plasma ghrelin concentration. This finding may explain the regulation of feed behavior to maintain energy homeostasis in human obesity. Further studies are needed to disclose the exact role of ghrelin in obesity.

Keywords: Obesity, Ghrelin, BMI, Insulin