What is it about?

Effects of intensive exercise on hypothalamus–pituitary–testis (HPT) axis remain controversial. Our aim was to determine the effects of intensive, long-term treadmill running on reproductive hormones, HPTaxis, and semen quality.

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Why is it important?

There is little argument that physical activity is beneficial for one’s health. Indeed, increasing the amount of physical activity is associated with extensive health improvements. However, strenuous exercise represents a physical stress that challenges homeostasis. In response to this stressor, the endocrine and nervous systems are known to react and participate in the maintenance of homeostasis and the development of physical fitness. Regardless of the many known health benefits of exercise, there is a body of evidence suggesting that endurance exercise is associated with some health problems


Despite strong evidence for the health benefits of continued aerobic exercise into later life, our results demonstrate that long-term strenuous exercise (overtraining syndrome) impairs reproductive capacity and the HPT axis in middle-aged men. After cessation of HIE, impairment of the reproductive system is fully recovered.

Dr Mohammad Reza Safarinejad
University of Medical Sceices

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This page is a summary of: The effects of intensive, long-term treadmill running on reproductive hormones, hypothalamus–pituitary–testis axis, and semen quality: a randomized controlled study, Journal of Endocrinology, December 2008, Bioscientifica, DOI: 10.1677/joe-08-0477.
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