Effect of a two-month detraining on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in athletes-link to adrenal steroid hormones

Pin Tai Wang, I. Tsun Chiang, Chih Yuan Lin, Chien Wen Hou, Chung Yu Chen, Hsing Hao Lee, Wei Hsiang Chang, Chia Hua Kuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Reduction in physical activity has been demonstrated to associate with the increased risk in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. To determine whether alteration in insulinemia, due to abstention from regular exercise training, is associated with changes in serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and cortisol, 18 highly trained badminton players (21.2 ± 0.3 years) were enrolled into a 2-month detraining study. Fasting serum insulin, glucose, DHEA-S, and cortisol were determined at trained state and at day 60 of detraining. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The 2-month detraining increased fasting glucose and insulin concentrations and body weight slightly, but did not significantly affect glucose tolerance and insulin response curve, in which 10 subjects had increased and 8 subjects had slightly decreased in the area under curve for insulin (IAUC). In the subjects with increased IAUC, serum cortisol was also elevated (from 0.44 ± 0.07 to 0.83 ± 0.26 U/1, P < 0.05) in parallel, and serum creatine kinase (CK) was unaltered during detraining. Whereas in the subjects with decreased IAUC, serum cortisol (from 0.51 ± 0.19 to 0.54 ± 0.14 U/l, no significance) was not changed and serum creatine kinase (from 461 ± 179 to 151 ± 21 U/l) was decreased during detraining. Two groups of detrained subjects exhibited a similar reduction in serum DHEA-S levels and slight elevation in body weight. The novel finding of the study is that the changes in serum cortisol, but not DHEA-S, were associated with the change in insulin sensitivity during early phase of lifestyle change from physically active to sedentary, and this response appears to be varied individually among athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortisol
  • DHEA-S
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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