Volume #31

Hey friends and warm welcome to another edition of Geeky Friday!

I’m a little short on time here so no big intro today. Here is some of the latest research in our area of interest. Dig in!

Oh, and have an AWESOME weekend, I know I will.


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Improvement in coronary heart disease risk factors during an intermittent fasting/calorie restriction regimen: Relationship to adipokine modulations.

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Oct 31;9(1):98

Authors: Kroeger CM, Klempel MC, Bhutani S, Trepanowski JF, Tangney CC, Varady KA

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The ability of an intermittent fasting (IF)-calorie restriction (CR) regimen (with or without liquid meals) to modulate adipokines in a way that is protective against coronary heart disease (CHD) has yet to be tested. OBJECTIVE: Accordingly, we examined the effects of an IFCR diet on adipokine profile, body composition, and markers of CHD risk in obese women. METHODS: Subjects (n = 54) were randomized to either the IFCR-liquid (IFCR-L) or IFCR-food based (IFCR-F) diet for 10 weeks. RESULTS: Greater decreases in body weight and waist circumference were noted in the IFCR-L group (4 +/- 1 kg; 6 +/- 1 cm) versus the IFCR-F group (3 +/- 1 kg; 4 +/- 1 cm). Similar reductions (P < 0.0001) in fat mass were demonstrated in the IFCR-L (3 +/- 1 kg) and IFCR-F group (2 +/- 1 kg). Reductions in total and LDL cholesterol levels were greater (P = 0.04) in the IFCR-L (19 +/- 10%; 20 +/- 9%, respectively) versus the IFCR-F group (8 +/- 3%; 7 +/- 4%, respectively). LDL peak particle size increased (P < 0.01) in the IFCR-L group only. The proportion of small LDL particles decreased (P < 0.01) in both groups. Adipokines, such as leptin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) decreased (P < 0.05), in the IFCR-L group only. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that IFCR with a liquid diet favorably modulates visceral fat and adipokines in a way that may confer protection against CHD.


Aerobic exercise does not compromise muscle hypertrophy response to short-term resistance training.

J Appl Physiol. 2012 Oct 25;

Authors: Lundberg TR, Fernandez-Gonzalo R, Gustafsson T, Tesch PA

Abstract: This study tested the hypothesis that chronic aerobic and resistance exercise (AE+RE) would elicit greater muscle hypertrophy than resistance exercise only (RE). Ten men (25±4 yrs) performed 5 wks unilateral knee extensor AE+RE. The opposing limb was subjected to RE. AE completed 6 hrs prior to RE, consisted of ~45 min one-legged cycle ergometry. RE comprised 4 x 7 maximal concentric-eccentric knee extensions. Various indices of in vivo knee extensor function were measured before and after training. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessed m. quadricep femoris (QF) cross-sectional area (CSA), volume, and signal intensity (SI). Biopsies obtained from m. vastus lateralis determined fiber CSA, enzyme levels and gene expression of myostatin, atrogin-1, MuRF-1, PGC-1α and VEGF. Increases (P < 0.05) in isometric strength and peak power, respectively were comparable in AE+RE (9 and 29%) and RE (11 and 24%). AE+RE showed greater increase (14%; P < 0.05) in QF volume than RE (8%). Muscle fiber CSA increased 17% after AE+RE (P < 0.05) and 9% after RE (P > 0.05). QF SI increased (12%; P < 0.05) after AE+RE, but not RE. Neither AE+RE nor RE showed altered mRNA-levels. Citrate Synthase activity increased (P < 0.05) after AE+RE. The results suggest that the increased aerobic capacity shown with AE+RE, was accompanied by a more robust increase in muscle size compared with RE. While this response was not carried over to greater improvement in muscle function, it remains that intense AE can be executed prior to RE without compromising performance outcome.


Associations of exercise-induced hormone profiles and gains in strength and hypertrophy in a large cohort after weight training.

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Jul;112(7):2693-702

Authors: West DW, Phillips SM

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between acute exercise-induced hormone responses and adaptations to high intensity resistance training in a large cohort (n = 56) of young men. Acute post-exercise serum growth hormone (GH), free testosterone (fT), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and cortisol responses were determined following an acute intense leg resistance exercise routine at the midpoint of a 12-week resistance exercise training study. Acute hormonal responses were correlated with gains in lean body mass (LBM), muscle fibre cross-sectional area (CSA) and leg press strength. There were no significant correlations between the exercise-induced elevations (area under the curve-AUC) of GH, fT and IGF-1 and gains in LBM or leg press strength. Significant correlations were found for cortisol, usually assumed to be a hormone indicative of catabolic drive, AUC with change in LBM (r = 0.29, P < 0.05) and type II fibre CSA (r = 0.35, P < 0.01) as well as GH AUC and gain in fibre area (type I: r = 0.36, P = 0.006; type II: r = 0.28, P = 0.04, but not lean mass). No correlations with strength were observed. We report that the acute exercise-induced systemic hormonal responses of cortisol and GH are weakly correlated with resistance training-induced changes in fibre CSA and LBM (cortisol only), but not with changes in strength.


The potential of toe flexor muscles to enhance performance.

J Sports Sci. 2012 Oct 30;

Authors: Goldmann JP, Sanno M, Willwacher S, Heinrich K, Brüggemann GP

Abstract: The metatarsal phalangeal joint (MPJ) and its crossing toe flexor muscles (TFM) represent the link between the large energy generating leg extensor muscles and the ground. The purpose of this study was to examine the functional adaptability of TFM to increased mechanical stimuli and the effects on walking, running and jumping performance. Fifteen men performed a heavy resistance TFM strength training with 90% of the maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) for 7 weeks (560 contractions) for the left and right foot. Maximal MPJ and ankle plantar flexion moments during MVICs were measured in dynamometers before and after the intervention. Motion analyses (inverse dynamics) were performed during barefoot walking, running, and vertical and horizontal jumping. Athletic performance was determined by measuring jump height and distance. Left (0.21 to 0.38 Nm · kg(-1); P < 0.001) and right (0.24 to 0.40 Nm · kg(-1); P < 0.001) MPJ plantar flexion moments in the dynamometer, external MPJ dorsiflexion moments (0.69 to 0.75 Nm · kg(-1); P = 0.012) and jump distance (2.25 to 2.31 m; P = 0.006) in horizontal jumping increased significantly. TFM responded highly to increased loading within a few weeks. The increased force potential made a contribution to an athlete’s performance enhancement.


Effects of Core Instability Strength Training on Trunk Muscle Strength, Spinal Mobility, Dynamic Balance and Functional Mobility in Older Adults.

Gerontology. 2012 Oct 24;

Authors: Granacher U, Lacroix A, Muehlbauer T, Roettger K, Gollhofer A

Abstract: Background: Age-related postural misalignment, balance deficits and strength/power losses are associated with impaired functional mobility and an increased risk of falling in seniors. Core instability strength training (CIT) involves exercises that are challenging for both trunk muscles and postural control and may thus have the potential to induce benefits in trunk muscle strength, spinal mobility and balance performance. Objective: The objective was to investigate the effects of CIT on measures of trunk muscle strength, spinal mobility, dynamic balance and functional mobility in seniors. Methods: Thirty-two older adults were randomly assigned to an intervention group (INT; n = 16, aged 70.8 ± 4.1 years) that conducted a 9-week progressive CIT or to a control group (n = 16, aged 70.2 ± 4.5 years). Maximal isometric strength of the trunk flexors/extensors/lateral flexors (right, left)/rotators (right, left) as well as of spinal mobility in the sagittal and the coronal plane was measured before and after the intervention program. Dynamic balance (i.e. walking 10 m on an optoelectric walkway, the Functional Reach test) and functional mobility (Timed Up and Go test) were additionally tested. Results: Program compliance was excellent with participants of the INT group completing 92% of the training sessions. Significant group × test interactions were found for the maximal isometric strength of the trunk flexors (34%, p < 0.001), extensors (21%, p < 0.001), lateral flexors (right: 48%, p < 0.001; left: 53%, p < 0.001) and left rotators (42%, p < 0.001) in favor of the INT group. Further, training-related improvements were found for spinal mobility in the sagittal (11%, p < 0.001) and coronal plane (11%, p = 0.06) directions, for stride velocity (9%, p < 0.05), the coefficient of variation in stride velocity (31%, p < 0.05), the Functional Reach test (20%, p < 0.05) and the Timed Up and Go test (4%, p < 0.05) in favor of the INT group. Conclusion: CIT proved to be a feasible exercise program for seniors with a high adherence rate. Age-related deficits in measures of trunk muscle strength, spinal mobility, dynamic balance and functional mobility can be mitigated by CIT. This training regimen could be used as an adjunct or even alternative to traditional balance and/or resistance training.


Nordic walking decreased circulating chemerin and leptin concentrations in middle-aged men with impaired glucose regulation.

Ann Med. 2012 Oct 30;

Authors: Venojärvi M, Wasenius N, Manderoos S, Heinonen OJ, Hernelahti M, Lindholm H, Surakka J, Lindström J, Aunola S, Atalay M, Eriksson JG

Abstract: Background. Dysfunction of adipose tissue is one of the major factors leading to insulin resistance. Altered adipokine concentration is an early sign of adipose tissue dysfunction. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of exercise intervention on adipokine profile, glycemic control, and risk factors of the metabolic syndrome (MeS) in men with impaired glucose regulation (IGR). Methods. Overweight and obese men with IGR (n =144) aged 40-65 years were studied at baseline and at 12 weeks in a randomized controlled multicenter intervention study. BMI varied from 25.1 to 34.9. The subjects were randomized into one of three groups: 1) a control group (C; n =47), 2) a Nordic walking group (NW; n =48), or 3) a resistance training group (RT; n =49). Results. Leptin concentrations decreased in the NW group compared to both other groups. Both types of exercise intervention significantly decreased serum chemerin concentrations compared to the C group. In the NW group also body fat percentage, fatty liver index (FLI), and total and LDL cholesterol concentrations decreased compared to the RT group. Conclusions. Nordic walking intervention seems to decrease chemerin and leptin levels, and subjects in this intervention group achieved the most beneficial effects on components of MeS.


Effects of combined exercise training on body composition and metabolic syndrome factors.

Iran J Public Health. 2012;41(8):20-6

Authors: Ha CH, So WY

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MS) is emerging as a serious public health problem in Korea. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 12 weeks of combined exercise training on body composition and MS factors in obese Korean female college students.
METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to exercise (n = 7) and control (n = 9) groups. The exercise group trained for 80 min/day, for 3 day/week for 12 weeks. Each exercise session comprised 3 phases: warm-up for 10 min, main exercise for 60 min (consisting of aerobic exercise for 30 min and resistance exercise for 30 min), and cool down for 10 min.
RESULTS: The exercise intensity for aerobic exercise was 60-80% of the heart rate reserve (HRR) for 30 min, while the resistance exercises were 10-15 repetitions maximum (RM) for 30 min. Two-way repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for statistical analysis. There were no interaction effects (time × group) on the MS-related factors of blood lipid composition such as triglycerides (TGs), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), glucose, total cholesterol (TC), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). However, interaction effects were observed (time × group) on percent body fat (P = 0.006), waist circumference (WC; P < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (SBP; P = 0.010), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; P = 0.007).
CONCLUSIONS: A 12-week supervised combined exercise program could effectively reduce percent body fat, WC, SBP, and DBP. However, it was not effective on MS-related factors of blood lipid composition such as TG, HDL, glucose, TC, and LDL in a sample population of obese Korean female college students.


Pragmatic randomised trial of a 12-week exercise and nutrition program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: clinical results immediate post and 3 months follow-up.

BMC Public Health. 2012 Oct 31;12(1):933

Authors: Canuto K, Cargo M, Li M, D Onise K, Esterman A, McDermott R

Abstract BACKGROUND: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience higher rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than non-Indigenous Australian women. Increasing physical activity, improving diets and losing weight have been shown to reduce cardio metabolic risk. The primary aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week structured exercise and nutrition program in a cohort of urban Indigenous Australian women on waist circumference, weight and biomedical markers of metabolic functioning from baseline (T1) to program completion (T2). The secondary aim assessed whether these outcomes were maintained at 3-month follow-up. METHODS: One hundred Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women aged 18–64 years living in the Adelaide metropolitan area were recruited. The program included two 60-minute group cardiovascular and resistance training classes per week, and four nutrition education workshops. Participants were randomly assigned to an ‘active’ group or ‘waitlisted’ control group. Body weight, height, waist and hip circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C), lipid profile and C-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed at baseline (T1), immediately after the program (T2) and three months post program (T3). RESULTS: The active group showed modest reductions in weight and body mass index (BMI). Compared to the waitlisted group, the active group had a statistically significantly change in weight and BMI from baseline assessments; at T2, -1.65 kg and -0.66 kg/m2 and at T3, -2.50 kg and -1.03 kg/m2, respectively. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure also had a statically significant difference from baseline in the active group compared to the waitlisted group at T2, -1.24 mmHg and -2.46 mmHg and at T3, -4.09 mmHg and -2.17 mmHg, respectively. The findings were independent of the baseline measure of the outcome variable, age, households with children and employment status. Changes in waist circumference and other clinical measures were not significant at T2 or T3. The primary outcome measure, waist circumference, proved problematic to assess reliably. Missing data and participants lost to follow-up were significant. CONCLUSIONS: This 12-week exercise program demonstrated modest reductions in weight, BMI and blood pressure at T2, which improved further at 3-month follow-up (T3). Positive intervention effects were observed despite low attendance at exercise classes. Structured exercise programs implemented in community settings require attention to understanding the barriers to participation for this high risk group


Efficacy of Whey Protein Supplementation on Resistance Exercise-Induced Changes in Lean Mass, Muscle Strength, and Physical Function in Mobility-Limited Older Adults.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Oct 31;

Authors: Chalé A, Cloutier GJ, Hau C, Phillips EM, Dallal GE, Fielding RA

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Whey protein supplementation may augment resistance exercise-induced increases in muscle strength and mass. Further studies are required to determine whether this effect extends to mobility-limited older adults. The objectives of the study were to compare the effects of whey protein concentrate (WPC) supplementation to an isocaloric control on changes in whole-body lean mass, mid-thigh muscle cross-sectional area, muscle strength, and stair-climbing performance in older mobility-limited adults in response to 6 months of resistance training (RT). METHODS: Eighty mobility-limited adults aged 70-85 years were randomized to receive WPC (40g/day) or an isocaloric control for 6 months. All participants also completed a progressive high-intensity RT intervention. Sample sizes were calculated based on the primary outcome of change in whole-body lean mass to give 80% power for a 0.05-level, two-sided test. RESULTS: Lean mass increased 1.3% and 0.6% in the WPC and control groups, respectively. Muscle cross-sectional area was increased 4.6% and 2.9% in the WPC and control groups, respectively, and muscle strength increased 16%-50% in WPC and control groups. Stair-climbing performance also improved in both groups. However, there were no statistically significant differences in the change in any of these variables between groups. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that WPC supplementation at this dose does not offer additional benefit to the effects of RT in mobility-limited older adults

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