Growth Hormone Secretion in Acid-Base Alterations at Rest and during Exercise
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1. Seven healthy males were studied during cycle ergometer exercise at 33%, 66% and 90% of VO2 max. on three occasions when NH4C1, NaHCO3 or CaCO3 (as a control substance) were administered in gelatin capsules double blind and in randomized order. Plasma growth hormone (HGH), lactic acid and hydrogen ion concentration ([H+]) were measured at frequent intervals. 2. Ammonium chloride produced highest blood [H+] and NaHCO3 the lowest. These differences were maintained during exercise and in recovery. Plasma lactic acid concentrations were similar at rest. At 66%, 90% VO2 max. and recovery lactic acid was highest with NaHCO3 and lowest with NH4C1. 3. Exercise stimulated HGH secretion in all studies and the elevation was proportional to the intensity of the exercise. NH4C1 caused a variable elevation of HGH at rest and 33% VO2 max. At 66% VO2 max., plasma HGH was significantly elevated to similar concentrations in all studies and, at 90% VO2 max., HGH was highest with NaHCO3. 4. An infusion of sodium L(+)-lactate producing plasma lactate concentrations of 3-5 mmol/l did not influence HGH secretion. 5. Exercise is a physiological stimulus to HGH secretion and the mechanism is independent of blood [H+] and lactate concentrations.
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