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David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, Steven R. McAnulty, Fuxia Jin and Kendra R. Maxwell

The purpose of this study was to test the influence of 2.4 g/d fish oil n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) over 6 wk on exercise performance, inflammation, and immune measures in 23 trained cyclists before and after a 3-d period of intense exercise. Participants were randomized to n-3 PUFA (n = 11; 2,000 mg eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA], 400 mg docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) or placebo (n = 12) groups. They ingested supplements under double-blind methods for 6 wk before and during a 3-d period in which they cycled for 3 hr/d at ~57% Wmax with 10-km time trials inserted during the final 15 min of each 3-hr bout. Blood and saliva samples were collected before and after the 6-wk supplementation period, immediately after the 3-hr exercise bout on the third day, and 14 hr postexercise and analyzed for various immune-function and inflammation parameters. Supplementation with n-3 PUFA resulted in a significant increase in plasma EPA and DHA but had no effect on 10-km time-trial performance; preexercise outcome measures; exercise-induced increases in plasma cytokines, myeloperoxidase, blood total leukocytes, serum C-reactive protein, and creatine kinase; or the decrease in the salivary IgA:protein ratio. In conclusion, 6 wk supplementation with a large daily dose of n-3 PUFAs increased plasma EPA and DHA but had no effect on exercise performance or in countering measures of inflammation and immunity before or after a 3-d period of 9 hr of heavy exertion.

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David C. Nieman, Beverly J. Warren, Ruth G. Dotson, Diane E. Butterworth and Dru A. Henson

The relationship between cardiorespiratory exercise and psychological well-being and mood state was studied in elderly women. Thirty-two sedentary Caucasian women 67 to 85 years of age were randomly assigned to either a walking or an attention-placebo control group; 30 completed all phases of the study. Intervention groups exercised 30 to 40 minutes 5 days a week for 12 weeks, with the walking group training at 60% heart rate reserve and the control group engaging in mild range-of-motion and flexibility movements that kept their heart rates close to resting levels. In a separate analysis, 12 highly conditioned elderly women 65 to 84 years of age who were active in endurance competitions were recruited at baseline for cross-sectional comparisons. At baseline they exhibited superior scores on the profile of mood states (POMS) and general well-being (GWB) schedule. Twelve weeks of moderate cardiorespiratory exercise improved the VO2max of the sedentary subjects 12.6% but did not result in improvement in POMS or GWB scores greater than those of the attention-placebo control group.

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Amy M. Knab, David C. Nieman, Nicholas D. Gillitt, R. Andrew Shanely, Lynn Cialdella-Kam, Dru A. Henson and Wei Sha

The effects of a flavonoid-rich fresh fruit and vegetable juice (JUICE) on chronic resting and postexercise inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and metabolic profiles (metabolomics analysis, gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry platform) in elite sprint and middle-distance swimmers were studied. In a randomized, crossover design with a 3-wk washout period, swimmers (n = 9) completed 10-d training with or without 16 fl oz of JUICE (230 mg flavonoids) ingested pre- and postworkout. Blood samples were taken presupplementation, post–10-d supplementation, and immediately postexercise, with data analyzed using a 2 × 3 repeated-measures ANOVA. Prestudy blood samples were also acquired from nonathletic controls (n = 7, age- and weight-matched) and revealed higher levels of oxidative stress in the swimmers, no differences in inflammation or immune function, and a distinct separation in global metabolic scores (R2Y [cum] = .971). Swim workouts consisted of high-intensity intervals (1:1, 1:2 swim-to-rest ratio) and induced little inflammation, oxidative stress, or immune changes. A distinct separation in global metabolic scores was found pre- to postexercise (R2Y [cum] = .976), with shifts detected in a small number of metabolites related to substrate utilization. No effect of 10-d JUICE was found on chronic resting levels or postexercise inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and shifts in metabolites. In conclusion, sprint and middle-distance swimmers had a slight chronic elevation in oxidative stress compared with nonathletic controls, experienced a low magnitude of postworkout perturbations in the biomarkers included in this study, and received no apparent benefit other than added nutrient intake from ingesting JUICE pre- and postworkout for 10 days.

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Manuela Konrad, David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, Krista M. Kennerly, Fuxia Jin and Sandra J. Wallner-Liebmann

This study tested the acute anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating influence of a quercetin-based supplement consumed by endurance athletes 15 min before an intense 2-hr run. In this randomized, crossover study, 20 runners (11 men, 9 women, age 38.4 ± 2.1 yr) completed two 2-hr treadmill runs at 70% VO2max (3 wk apart). Subjects ingested either 4 quercetin-based chews (Q-chew) or placebo chews (PL) 15 min before the runs. The 4 Q-chews provided 1,000 mg quercetin, 120 mg epigallocatechin 3-gallate, 400 mg isoquercetin, 400 mg each eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, 1,000 mg vitamin C, and 40 mg niacinamide. Subjects provided blood samples 30 min before, immediately after, and 1 hr postexercise and were analyzed for plasma quercetin, total blood leukocytes (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), 9 cytokines (IL-6, TNFα, GM-CSF, IFNγ, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12p70), granulocyte (GR) and monocyte (MO) phagocytosis (PHAG), and oxidative-burst activity (OBA). Plasma quercetin increased from 80.0 ± 26.0 μg/L to 6,337 ± 414 μg/L immediately postexercise and 4,324 ± 310 μg/L 1 hr postexercise after ingestion of Q-chews, compared with no change in PL (p < .001). Exercise caused significant increases in, CRP, GM-CSF, IL-10, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, TNFα, GR-PHAG, and MO-PHAG and decreases in GR-OBA and MO-OBA, but no differences in the pattern of change were measured between Q-chew and PL trials. Acute ingestion of Q-chews 15 min before heavy exertion caused a strong increase in plasma quercetin levels but did not counter postexercise inflammation or immune changes relative to placebo.

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Steven R. McAnulty, David C. Nieman, Lisa S. McAnulty, Worley S. Lynch, Fuxia Jin and Dru A. Henson

Consumption of plant flavonoids, antioxidants, and n-3 fatty acids is proposed to have many potential health benefits derived primarily through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. This study examined the effects of 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C (QC); 1,000 mg quercetin, 1,000 mg vitamin C, 400 mg isoquercetin, 30 mg epigallocatechin gallate, and 400 mg n-3 fatty acids (QFO); or placebo (P), taken each day for 2 wk before and during 3 d of cycling at 57% Wmax for 3 hr, on plasma antioxidant capacity (ferricreducing ability of plasma [FRAP], oxygen-radical absorbance capacity [ORAC]), plasma oxidative stress (F2-isoprostanes), and plasma quercetin and vitamin C levels. Thirty-nine athletes were recruited and randomized to QC, QFO, or P. Blood was collected at baseline, after 2 wk supplementation, immediately postexercise, and 14 hr postexercise. Statistical design used a 3 (groups) × 4 (times) repeated-measures ANOVA with post hoc analyses. Plasma quercetin was significantly elevated in QC and QFO compared with P. Plasma F2-isoprostanes, FRAP, and vitamin C were significantly elevated and ORAC significantly decreased immediately postexercise, but no difference was noted in the overall pattern of change. Post hoc analyses revealed that the QC and QFO groups did not exhibit a significant increase in F2-isoprostanes from baseline to immediately postexercise compared with P. This study indicates that combining flavonoids and antioxidants with n-3 fatty acids is effective in reducing the immediate postexercise increase in F2-isoprostanes. Moreover, this effect occurs independently of changes in plasma antioxidant capacity.

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Dru A. Henson, David C. Nieman, E. Edward Pistilli, Brian Schilling, AnnaRita Colacino, Allan C. Utter, Omar R. Fagoaga, Debra M. Vinci and Sandra L. Nehlsen-Cannarella

The influence of 6% carbohydrate ingestion and age on PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation and in vitro cytokine production was studied in 48 runners following a competitive marathon. Runners were randomly assigned to carbohydrate (C; n = 23) and placebo (P; n = 25) groups, with blood samples taken before, immediately after, and 1.5 hr post-race. C versus P ingestion resulted in higher plasma glucose, lower plasma corlisol, reduced neutrophilia, and mono-cytosis during recovery, but had no effect on the post-exercise reduction in T-lymphocytes or NK cells, or on race times. No group differences were observed for PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation or cytokine production. However, for all subjects combined, lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-γ secretion decreased significantly below pre-race values by 1.5 hr of recovery, and these were negatively correlated with plasma cortisol. Young (<50 years; n = 36) and old (≥50 years; n = 12) runners exhibited parallel post-race declines in lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-γ secretion, with the older group exhibiting a 33–59% lower proliferation at each time point. In conclusion, PHA-induced lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production decreased significantly following a marathon, and this decrease was strongly linked to cortisol and only partially linked to T-cell changes. This decrease occurred in both younger and older runners and was not influenced by carbohydrate.

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Edward E. Pistilli, David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, David E. Kaminsky, Alan C. Utter, Debra M. Vinci, J. Mark Davis, Omar R. Fagoaga and Sandra L. Nehlsen-Cannarella

Immune changes in 75 younger (age 37.4 ± 0.9 years) and 23 older (57.0 ± 1.4 years) runners were compared after a competitive marathon, with blood samples collected pre- and immediately and 1.5 hr postrace. Race times were slower for the older group (4.7 ± 0.2 vs. 4.3 ± 0.1 hr, p = .015), but both groups performed at similar intensity (83.4 ± 0.9 vs. 82.9 ± 0.5% HRmax). The pattern of change in plasma cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone, and blood leukocyte subsets did not differ significantly between the groups postrace. Blood lymphocyte counts were 20–24% lower in the older runners at each time point because of reduced T-cell counts. Postrace, plasma levels of IL-1ra, -10, -6, and -8 rose strongly in all runners, and salivary IgA secretion rate decreased, but no group differences in the pattern of change were noted. In conclusion, younger and older runners experienced similar hormonal and immune changes after running a marathon.

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Dru A. Henson, David C. Nieman, Andy D. Blodgett, Diane E. Butterworth, Alan Utter, J. Mark Davis, Gerald Sonnenfeld, Darla S. Morton, Omar R. Fagoaga and Sandra L. Nehlsen-Cannarella

The influence of exercise mode and 6% carbohydrate (C) versus placebo (P) beverage ingestion on lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer cell cytotoxicily (NKCA), Interleukin (IL)-1ß production, and hormonal responses to 2.5 hr of intense running and cycling (~75% V˙O2max) was measured in 10 triathletes serving as their own controls. The C versus P condition (but not exercise mode) resulted in higher plasma glucose concentrations, lower plasma cortisol concentrations, reduced poslexercise lymphocytosis and NKCA, and a lessened T-cell reduction during recovery. No condition or mode effects were observed for concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin-induced lymphocyte proliferation. Significant mode (but not condition) effects were observed for lipopolysaccharide-induced IL-1ß production over time. However, when expressed per monocyte, the mode effect was abolished and a sustained suppression in IL-1 ß/monocyte was observed in all sessions throughout recovery. These data indicate that carbohydrate ingestion significantly affects plasma glucose and cortisol concentrations, blood lymphocyte counts, and NKCA, whereas exercise mode has no effect on these parameters.