Acute consequences of food-induced glucocorticoid secretion in healthy adults


Heart rhythm is being studied to comprehend the impact of glucocorticoids on body weight regulation and to present a more comprehensive view of the physiological adaptations linked to excessive food intake. Metabolic parameters and heart rate variability are being compared between two different types of therapies to ascertain whether a significant role is played by glucocorticoids in the physiological adjustments that occur in response to overeating. The ultimate goal is to identify potential therapeutic targets in the fight against obesity based on a better understanding of this complex relationship.



Overweight and obesity represent some of the most critical challenges of the 21st century. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of how our body weight is regulated becomes imperative for developing new treatment approaches.

Numerous studies have indicated that glucocorticoids may play a significant role in weight regulation. Indeed, various physiological adaptations observed during overfeeding, such as alterations in insulin sensitivity, coincide with glucocorticoid actions.


By comparing metabolic parameters and heart rate variability between the two treatments, the aim is to determine whether glucocorticoids mediate the physiological adaptations that occur in response to excessive food intake.


To investigate this matter further, a research study will involve 20 healthy volunteers who receive a placebo or a block-and-replace therapy designed to mimic the physiological rhythm of glucocorticoids. During the study, participants will undergo two identical overfeeding periods, each associated with a specific treatment. The block-and-replace therapy will involve the suppression of food-induced glucocorticoid peaks.


Overall, this study aims to shed light on the intricate relationship between glucocorticoids and the physiological adjustments accompanying overeating, with the ultimate goal of identifying potential targets for novel treatments in the battle against obesity.


Coordinating Center: University of Basel, Switzerland