Plasma Insulin Levels During Prolonged Exercise

  • E. D. R. Pruett
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 11)


The clinical observation that diabetic patients who exercise recquire less insulin therapy than those who do not, led to interest in the behaviour of circulating insulin concentrations during exercise. An increase in insulin concentration should result in increased glucose transport, and thus a decrease in blood glucose concentration. Studies of diabetic patients have shown (Sanders et al l961) that blood glucose concentration does, in fact, decrease as a result of exercise. However, since the same effect can be elicited in pancreatectomized animals (Ingle et al 1950, Goldstein et al 1953, Dulin and Clark 1961), it seems impossible that an increase in plasma insulin concentrations could be the only cause of the increased glucose transport. Thus a decrease in plasma insulin concentrations was also a possibility, and because of the necessity of preserving the blood and liver glucose for utilization by the central nervous system, this latter possibility seemed logical. A few studies of the effect of various types of exercise on plasma immunoreactive insulin (IRI) concentrations have demonstrated a decrease (Cochrane et al 1966, Rasio et al 1966, Hunter and Sukkar 1968). A study of insulin secretion in both normal and diabetic patients showed no increase as a result of exercise (Nikkilä et al 1969). Studies of exercising animals have shown that insulin concentrations could be decreased during exercise even when glucose was infused (Issekutz et al 1967, Wright and Malaisse 1968).


Insulin Concentration Blood Glucose Concentration Work Load Plasma Insulin Level Prolong Exercise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cochran, B., Jr., E.P. Marbach, R. Poucher, T. Steinberg and G. Gwinup: Effect of acute muscular exercise on serum immunoreactive insulin concentration. Diabetes, 15: 838–841, 1966PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Dulin, W.E. and J.J. Clark: Studies concerning a possible humoral factor produced by working muscles. Its influence on glucose utilization. Diabetes, 10: 289–297, 1961PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Goldstein, M.S., V. Mullick, B. Huddlestun and R. Levine: Action of muscular work on transfer of sugars across cell barriers: Comparison with action of insulin. Amer. J. Physiol., 173: 212–216, 1953PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Hermansen, L., E. Hultman and B. Saltin: Muscle glycogen during prolonged severe exercise. Acta Physiol.Scand., 71: 129–139, 1967PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hultman, E.: Studies on muscle metabolism of glycogen and active phosphate in man with special reference to exercise and diet. Scand.J.clin. Lab. Invest., 19: (Suppl. 94): 1967Google Scholar
  6. Hunter, W.M. and M.Y. Sukkar: Changes in plasma insulin levels during muscular exercise. Proc.Physiol.Soc., 110P–112P, 23–24 Feb. 1968Google Scholar
  7. Ingle, D.J., J.E. Nezanis and K.L. Rice: Work output and blood glucose values in normal and diabetic rats subjected to the stimulation of muscle. Endocrinology, 46: 505–509, 1950PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Issekutz, B., Jr., P. Paul and H. I. Miller: Metabolism in normal and pancreatectomized dogs during steady state exercise. Amer.J. Physiol., 213: 857–862, 1967PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Karam, J.J., S.G. Grasso, L.C. Wegienka, G.M. Grodsky and P.M. Forsham: Effect of selected hexoses, of epinephrine, and of glucagon on insulin secretion in man. Diabetes, 15: 571–578, 1966PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Karlsson, J., S. Rosell and B. Saltin: Blood-borne substrates. Acta Physiol.Scand., (Suppl. 330): 14, 1969Google Scholar
  11. Nikkilä, E.A., M.-R. Taskinen, T.A. Miettinen, R. Pelkonen and H. Poppius: Effect of muscular exercise on insulin secretion. Diabetes, 17: 209–219, 1968PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Oseid, S. and L. Hermansen: Hormonal and metabolic changes during and after prolonged muscular work in pre-pubertal boys. Acta Paediat.Scand., in press, 1970Google Scholar
  13. Porte, D., Jr., A.L. Graber, T. Kuzuya and R.H. Williams: The effect of epinephrine on immunoreactive insulin levels in man. J.Clin.Invest., 45: 228–236, 1966PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Porte, D. Jr.: A receptor mechanism for the inhibition of insulin release by epinephrine in man. J.Clin.Invest., 16: 86–94, 1967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pruett, E.D.R.: Glucose and insulin during prolonged work stress in men living on different diets. J.Appl.Physiol., 28: 199–208, 1970aPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Pruett, E.D.R.: Plasma insulin concentrations during prolonged work at near maximal oxygen uptake. J.Appl.Physiol. in press, August l970bGoogle Scholar
  17. Sanders, C.A., G.E. Levinson, W.H. Abelmann and N. Frienkel: Effect of exercise on the peripheral utilization of glucose in man. New.Engl.J.Med., 271: 220–225, l964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Vendsalu, A.: Studies on adrenaline and noradrenaline in human plasma. Acta Physiol. Scand., 49 (Suppl. 173): 1–89, 1960Google Scholar
  19. von Euler, U.S. and S. Hellner: Excretion of noradrenaline and adrenaline in muscular work. Acta Physiol.Scand. 26: 183–191, 1952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wright, P.H. and W.J. Malaisse: Effects of epinephrine, stress and exercise on insulin secretion in the rat. Amer. J.Physiol. 214: 1031–1034, 1968PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. D. R. Pruett
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Work PhysiologyOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations