Vigorous aerobic exercise suppresses appetite by triggering the release of the appetite suppressing hormone peptide YY and lowering levels of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin, suggest recent study results.
David J. Stensel and colleagues from Britains Loughborough University and Sheffield Hallam University enrolled 11 male university students for their study of the effect of exercise on appetite and the appetite-regulating hormones peptide YY and ghrelin. Each participant was required to take part in three eight-hour sessions: one in which they ran for 60 minutes on a treadmill, and then rested for seven hours; another in which they did 90 minutes of weight lifting, and then rested for six hours and 30 minutes; and a third session during which the participants did no exercise.
Results showed that ghrelin levels dropped and peptide YY levels increased during the aerobic exercise session on the treadmill. Whilst ghrelin levels dropped but peptide YY levels did not change significantly during the weight-lifting session (resistance exercise). The participants also filled out hunger questionnaires after each exercise session. Results of the questionnaires showed that both aerobic and resistance exercise suppressed hunger, but aerobic exercise produced a greater suppression of hunger. However, appetite suppression was only short-lived lasting for approximately two hours, including the time spent exercising.
The finding that hunger is suppressed during and immediately after vigorous treadmill running is consistent with previous studies indicating that strenuous aerobic exercise transiently suppresses appetite, Dr Stensel said in a news release. The findings suggest a similar, although slightly attenuated response, for weight lifting exercise.