Recently, it has been reported that osteocalcin (OC), in particular its undercarboxylated (ucOC) form, is not only a bone remodeling marker but also an active hormone that intercedes glucose metabolism in humans. This study aimed to determine the impact of an exercise intervention on ucOC, adiponectin, leptin, and insulin resistance (measured by HOMA-IR). PubMed, CINAHL, Medline, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases and reference lists of included studies were searched. Twenty-two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of exercise training impact in adults were included in the analysis. Results showed an overall significant increase in serum ucOC (MD: 0.15 ng/ml; 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.25) and adiponectin (MD: 2.83 mg/ml; 95% CI: 1.67 to 3.98), a significant decline in leptin (MD: − 4.89 pg/ml; 95% CI: − 6.94 to − 2.84), fasting glucose (MD: − 2.29 mg/dl; 95% CI: − 4.04 to − 0.54), fasting insulin (MD, − 8.90 μIU/ml; 95% CI: − 13.81 to − 3.98), and HOMA-IR (MD: − 1.96; 95% CI: − 3.11 to − 0.80). However, after removal of studies that had prescribed a balanced diet along with exercise intervention, total OC (TOC) levels also increased in the exercise group compared with the control group (MD: 0.36 ng/ml; 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.65). Our findings demonstrate that exercise-induced increases in ucOC are the probable cause of increased adiponectin. Additionally, increases in ucOC itself are probably due to changes in leptin levels and other factors, rather than its direct impact on bone and its osteoblastic activity. Further studies are required to clarify the mechanisms underlying the impact of exercise training on ucOC, adipocytokines, and insulin resistance.
Energy metabolism; Exercise; Insulin resistance; Osteocalcin