The Effect of Rate of Weight Reduction on Serum Myostatin and Follistatin Concentrations in Competitive Wrestlers

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

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Mohamad S. Motevalli
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Vincent J. Dalbo
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Reza S. Attarzadeh
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Amir Rashidlamir
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Patrick S. Tucker
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Aaron T. Scanlan
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Purpose:

To evaluate anthropometric measures and serum markers of myostatin-pathway activity after different weight-reduction protocols in wrestlers.

Methods:

Subjects were randomly assigned to a gradual-weight-reduction (GWR) or rapid-weight-reduction (RWR) group. Food logs were collected for the duration of the study. Anthropometric measurements and serum samples were collected after an 8-h fast at baseline and after the weight-reduction intervention. Subjects reduced body mass by 4%. The GWR group restricted calories over 12 d, while the RWR group restricted calories over 2 d. A series of 2 × 5 repeated-measures (RM) ANOVAs was conducted to examine differences in nutrient consumption, while separate 2 × 2 RM ANOVAs were conducted to examine differences in anthropometric measures and serum markers. When applicable, Tukey post hoc comparisons were conducted. Significance for all tests was set at P < .05.

Results:

There were no between-groups differences for any anthropometric measure (P > .05). Subjects in both groups experienced a significant reduction in body mass, fat mass, lean mass, and percent body fat (P < .05). There were no between-groups differences in serum markers of myostatin-pathway activity (P > .05), but subjects in the RWR condition experienced a significant increase in serum myostatin (P < .01), a decrease in follistatin (P < .01), and an increase in myostatin-to-follistatin ratio (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Although there were no between-groups differences for any outcome variables, the serum myostatin-to-follistatin ratio was significantly increased in the RWR group, possibly signaling the early stages of skeletal-muscle catabolism.

Motevalli, Attarzadeh, and Rashidlamir are with the Dept of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. Dalbo, Tucker, and Scanlan are with the School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia. Address author correspondence to Mohamad Motevalli at mohamad_motevali@yahoo.com.

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