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  • Author: Timothy D. Mickleborough x
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Timothy D. Mickleborough

Increased muscle oxidative stress and inflammatory responses among athletes have been reported consistently. In addition, it is well known that exhaustive or unaccustomed exercise can lead to muscle fatigue, delayed-onset muscle soreness, and a decrement in performance. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been shown to decrease the production of inflammatory eicosanoids, cytokines, and reactive oxygen species; have immunomodulatory effects; and attenuate inflammatory diseases. While a number of studies have assessed the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on red blood cell deformability, muscle damage, inflammation, and metabolism during exercise, only a few have evaluated the impact of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on exercise performance. It has been suggested that the ingestion of EPA and DHA of approximately 1–2 g/d, at a ratio of EPA to DHA of 2:1, may be beneficial in counteracting exercise-induced inflammation and for the overall athlete health. However, the human data are inconclusive as to whether omega-3 PUFA supplementation at this dosage is effective in attenuating the inflammatory and immunomodulatory response to exercise and improving exercise performance. Thus, attempts should be made to establish an optimal omega-3 fatty-acid dosage to maximize the risk-to-reward ratio of supplementation. It should be noted that high omega-3 PUFA consumption may lead to immunosuppression and prolong bleeding time. Future studies investigating the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in exercise-trained individuals should consider using an exercise protocol of sufficient duration and intensity to produce a more robust oxidative and inflammatory response.

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Jonathon L. Stickford, Timothy D. Mickleborough, Alyce D. Fly and Joel M. Stager


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been reported to modify the inflammatory response associated with allergic airway disease, primarily in animal models. To extend these observations to humans, the effect of short-term CLA supplementation on the severity of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) was investigated in asthmatics.


Six subjects with physician-diagnosed asthma and EIB began the study on their usual diet, to which was added 4.8 g CLA/d for 8 wk. Pulmonary-function tests were administered before and after eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation (EVH) challenge at the commencement (Week 0) and conclusion of the treatment period (Week 8). Pre- and 90 min post-EVH challenge, urine was assayed for the presence of cysteinyl leukotrienes (LT) C4−E4 and 9α,11β-prostaglandin (PG) F2.


Pre- to post- EVH forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) did not significantly differ (p > .05) from Week 8 to Week 0. The pre- to post-EVH decline in FEV1 at Week 8 (–29.6% ± 6.6%) was not significantly different (p > .05) from that at Week 0 (–32.0% ± 5.5%). Area under the curve of FEV1 plotted against time from zero to 60 min (AUC0–60) was unaltered at Week 8 (–931% ± 350% change per minute) compared with Week 0 (−1,090% ± 270% change per minute). CLA supplementation did not alter forced midexpiratory flow, forced vital capacity (FVC), or FEV1/FVC. In addition, post-EVH urinary LTC4–E4 and 9α,11β-PGF2 were unchanged after CLA supplementation.


Daily supplementation of 4.8 g CLA for 8 wk does not attenuate airway inflammation or hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction in asthmatic individuals.

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Jason R. Karp, Jeanne D. Johnston, Sandra Tecklenburg, Timothy D. Mickleborough, Alyce D. Fly and Joel M. Stager

Nine male, endurance-trained cyclists performed an interval workout followed by 4 h of recovery, and a subsequent endurance trial to exhaustion at 70% VO2max, on three separate days. Immediately following the first exercise bout and 2 h of recovery, subjects drank isovolumic amounts of chocolate milk, fluid replacement drink (FR), or carbohydrate replacement drink (CR), in a single-blind, randomized design. Carbohydrate content was equivalent for chocolate milk and CR. Time to exhaustion (TTE), average heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and total work (WT) for the endurance exercise were compared between trials. TTE and WT were significantly greater for chocolate milk and FR trials compared to CR trial. The results of this study suggest that chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid between two exhausting exercise bouts.

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Daniel G. Hursh, Marissa N. Baranauskas, Chad C. Wiggins, Shane Bielko, Timothy D. Mickleborough and Robert F. Chapman

Endurance exercise performance in hypoxia may be influenced by an ability to maintain high minute ventilation (V˙E) in defense of reduced arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation. Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) has been used as an effective intervention to attenuate the negative physiological consequences associated with an increased V˙E, resulting in improved submaximal-exercise performance in normoxia. However, the efficacy of IMT on hypoxic exercise performance remains unresolved. Purpose: To determine whether chronic IMT improves submaximal-exercise performance with acute hypoxic exposure. Methods: A total of 14 endurance-trained men completed a 20-km cycling time trial (TT) in normobaric hypoxia (fraction of inspired oxygen [FiO2] = 0.16) before and after either 6 wk of an IMT protocol consisting of inspiratory loads equivalent to 80% of sustained maximal inspiratory pressure (n = 9) or a SHAM protocol (30% of sustained maximal inspiratory pressure; n = 5). Results: In the IMT group, 20-km TT performance significantly improved by 1.45 (2.0%), P = .03, after the 6-wk intervention. The significantly faster TT times were accompanied by a higher average V˙E (pre vs post: 99.3 [14.5] vs 109.9 [18.0] L·min−1, P = .01) and absolute oxygen uptake (pre vs post: 3.39 [0.52] vs 3.60 [0.58] L·min−1, P = .010), with no change in ratings of perceived exertion or dyspnea (P > .06). There were no changes in TT performance in the SHAM group (P = .45). Conclusion: These data suggest that performing 6 wk of IMT may benefit hypoxic endurance exercise performance lasting 30–40 min.