Irisin: A Potential Link between Physical Exercise and Metabolism - An Observational Study in Differently Trained Subjects, from Elite Athletes to Sedentary People

Stefano Benedini, Elena Dozio, Pietro Luigi Invernizzi, Elena Vianello, Giuseppe Banfi, Ileana Terruzzi, Livio Luzi, Massimiliano Marco Corsi Romanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We compared irisin levels among groups of differently trained healthy individuals to explore the role of irisin as a physiological linker between exercise and metabolic health. Irisin and biochemical parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism were assessed in 70 healthy volunteers stratified for sport performance level into four groups: (1) 20 elite athletes of national level, (2) 20 subelite athletes of local level, (3) 20 recreational athletes, and (4) 10 sedentary subjects. All biochemical parameters were within the ranges of normality. Fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, and total cholesterol levels were inversely related to the degree of physical activity. HbA1c was higher in elite athletes compared to all the other groups (p<0.01). A U-shaped relation between free fatty acids and the degree of physical activity was observed. All groups showed similar plasma irisin levels. After correction for the degree of insulin resistance (irisin/HOMA-IR), elite athletes showed higher levels compared to sedentary and recreational subjects (p<0.01 and p<0.05, resp.). In addition, the number of metabolic parameters correlated with irisin increased at increasing the training status. Our study suggests a correlation between sport performance, insulin sensitivity, and irisin levels. Irisin may be one potential mediator of the beneficial effects of exercise on metabolic profile.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1039161
JournalJournal of Diabetes Research
Volume2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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