Effects of oral contraceptives on glucose flux and substrate oxidation rates during rest and exercise

Sang Hoon Suh, Gretchen A. Casazza, Michael A. Horning, Benjamin F. Miller, George A. Brooks

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69 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the effects of oral contraceptives (OC) on glucose flux and whole body substrate oxidation rates during rest (90 min) and two exercise intensities [60-min leg ergometer cycling at 45 and 65% peak O2 uptake (VO2 peak)]. Eight healthy, eumenorrheic women were studied during the follicular and luteal phases before OC and the inactive and high-dose phases after 4 mo of a low-dose, triphasic OC. Subjects were studied in the morning 3 h after a standardized (308 kcal) breakfast. There were significant reductions in glucose rates of appearance and disappearance during exercise of both intensities with OC but not rest. There were no phase effects on substrate oxidation during rest or exercise. These results are interpreted to mean that, in women fed several hours before study, 1) OC decreases glucose flux, but not overall carbohydrate and lipid oxidation rates during moderate-intensity exercise; and 2) synthetic ovarian hormone analogs in the doses contained in OC have greater metabolic effects on glucose metabolism during exercise than do endogenous ovarian hormones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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