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Ezzedine Bouhlel, Myriam Denguezli, Monia Zaouali, Zouhair Tabka and Roy J. Shephard

Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of Ramadan fasting on parameters of insulin resistance in trained athletes at rest and after aerobic exercise.

Methods:

Nine male rugby players (age 19 ± 2 yr, height 1.78 ± 0.74 m) were tested 3 times: 1 week before observance of Ramadan (C), at the end of the first week (R1), and during the fourth week (R2). They performed a progressive cycle-ergometer test at each visit. Data collected at rest and at the end of aerobic exercise included simple anthropometry (body mass, body-mass index, body fat, fat-free mass), biochemical parameters (serum glucose, cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, and serum proteins), and selected hormone concentrations (plasma insulin, leptin, and adiponectin).

Results:

Ramadan fasting was associated with a reduction of body mass and body fat (R2 vs. C, p < .01) without significant change in leptin or adiponectin levels.

Conclusion:

Lipolysis might have occurred because of increased plasma triglycerides and HDL cholesterol concentrations.

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Abderraouf Ben Abderrahman, Jacques Prioux, Karim Chamari, Omar Ben Ounis, Zouhair Tabka and Hassane Zouhal

The effect of endurance interval training (IT) on hematocrit (Ht), hemoglobin (Hb), and estimated plasma-volume variation (PVV) in response to maximal exercise was studied in 15 male subjects (21.1 ± 1.1 y; control group n = 6, and training group, n = 9). The training group participated in interval training 3 times a week for 7 wk. A maximal graded test (GXT) was performed to determine maximal aerobic power (MAP) and maximal aerobic speed (MAS) both before and after the training program. To determine Ht, Hb concentration, and lactate concentrations, blood was collected at rest, at the end of GXT, and after 10 and 30 min of recovery. MAP and MAS increased significantly (P < .05) after training only in training group. Hematocrit determined at rest was significantly lower in the training group than in the control group after the training period (P < .05). IT induced a significant increase of estimated PVV at rest for training group (P < .05), whereas there were no changes for control group. Hence, significant relationships were observed after training between PVV determined at the end of the maximal test and MAS (r = .60, P < .05) and MAP (r = .76, P < .05) only for training group. In conclusion, 7 wk of IT led to a significant increase in plasma volume that possibly contributed to the observed increase of aerobic fitness (MAP and MAS).

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Anis Zribi, Mohamed Zouch, Hamada Chaari, Elyes Bouajina, Hela Ben Nasr, Monia Zaouali and Zouhair Tabka

The effects of a 9-week lower-body plyometric training program on bone mass, bone markers and physical fitness was examined in 51 early pubertal male basketball players divided randomly into a plyometric group (PG: 25 participants) and a control group (CG: 26 participants). Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and bone area (BA) in the whole body, L2-L4 vertebrae, and in total hip, serum levels of osteocalcin (Oc) and C-terminal telopeptide fragment of Type I collagen (CTx), jump, sprint and power abilities were assessed at baseline and 9 weeks. Group comparisons were done by independent student’s t-test between means and analyses of (ANOVA) and covariance (ANCOVA), adjusting for baseline values. PG experienced a significant increase in Oc (p < .01) and all physical fitness except for the 5-jump test. However, there was no improvement in aBMD, BMC and BA in any measured site, except in whole body BMC of the PG. A positive correlation was observed between percentage increase (Δ%) of physical fitness and those of (Oc) for the PG. In summary, biweekly sessions of lower body plyometric training program were successful for improving whole body BMC, bone formation marker (Oc) and physical fitness in early pubertal male basketball players.

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Ammar Nebigh, Mohamed Elfethi Abed, Rihab Borji, Sonia Sahli, Slaheddine Sellami, Zouhair Tabka and Haithem Rebai

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between bone mass and bone turnover markers with lean mass (LM) in pubescent soccer players. Two groups participated in this study, which included 65 elite young soccer players who trained for 6–8 hours per week and 60 controls. Bone mineral density; bone mineral content in the whole body, lower limbs, lumbar spine, and femoral neck; biochemical markers of osteocalcin; bone-specific alkaline phosphatase; C-telopeptide type I collagen; and total LM were assessed. Young soccer players showed higher bone mineral density and bone mineral content in the whole body and weight-bearing sites (P < .001). Indeed, the total LM correlated with whole-body bone mineral density and bone mineral content (P < .001). There were significant differences within the bone formation markers and osteocalcin (formation)/C-telopeptide type I collagen (resorption) ratio between young soccer players compared with the control group, but no significant difference in C-telopeptide type I collagen was observed between the 2 groups. This study showed a significant positive correlation among bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and total LM (r = .29; r = .31; P < .05) only for the young soccer players. Findings of this study highlight the importance of soccer practice for bone mineral parameters and bone turnover markers during the puberty stage.