Korean J Sports Med.  2018 Dec;36(4):214-220. 10.5763/kjsm.2018.36.4.214.

Effect of Ultramarathon on the Anterior Pituitary and Thyroid Hormones

  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Shinsung University, Dangjin, Korea.
  • 2Department of Exercise Rehabilitation Welfare, Sungshin University, Seoul, Korea. kyj87@sungshin.ac.kr


The purpose
of this research is to study changes in pituitary hormone in anterior lobe and thyroid hormone before, after, and during recovery time in severe 100 km ultramarathon.
Healthy middle-aged runners (age, 52.0±4.8 years) participated in the test. Grade exercise test is done, and then blood is taken from those participants before and after completing 100 km ultramarathon at the intervals of 24 hours (1 day), 72 hours (3 days), and 120 hours (5 days) to analyze their luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and free thyroxine (Free T4).
For LH, it decreased more significantly at 100 km than pre-race. However, after 1 day result increased more than that of 100 km. At 3 days, it was significantly higher than pre-race and 100 km, recovering at 5 days. In terms of FSH, it decreased at 100 km, 1 day, and 3 days more than pre-race but recovered at 5 days. TSH was higher at 1 day and 5 days compared to pre-race. T3 was only higher at 100 km than pre-race. T4 was higher till 5 days at 100 km than pre-race. Free T4 increased more significantly at 100 km than pre-race.
In terms of severe long distance running, LH and FSH which belong to hormone from anterior lobe as well as T3, T4, and Free T4 which belong to thyroid hormone showed their variation within the standard range. However, TSH showed abnormal increase from enhanced concentration of blood after marathon becoming hyper-activation even during the recovery period.


Follicle-stimulating hormone; Luteinizing hormone; Thyroid hormones; Triiodothyronine; Running
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