To investigate the hormonal balance in obesity with respect to insulin and glucagon secretion and to assess their effect at the substrate level, we compared ten obese subjects with an equal number of normal weight controls. No subject was diabetic by USPHS criteria.
Aminogenic hormonal secretion was measured after arginine was given intravenously at a rate of 1 gm.'min. for thirty minutes. Changes in the hormonally sensitive substrates, glucose and free fatty acids, were examined in relation to the hormonal secretion.
Our obese population was characterized by increased insulin and decreased glucagon secretion. At the substrate level, these hormonal differences were reflected in changes of serum glucose but not in free fatty acids.