). Despite the potential long-term implications to athlete health and performance, studies exploring these effects in elite athletes are lacking. Therefore, we quantified the effect of a sleep-low protocol in the daily training environment on markers of inflammation, iron regulation, and immune function in
Alannah K. A. McKay, Ida A. Heikura, Louise M. Burke, Peter Peeling, David B. Pyne, Rachel P.L. van Swelm, Coby M. Laarakkers, and Gregory R. Cox
William A. Braun, Michael G. Flynn, Daniel L. Carl, Kathy K. Carroll, Todd Brickman, and Charlie P. Lambert
Iron deficiency may lead to anemia and may result in compromised endurance exercise performance. Iron deficiency has also been reported to adversely affect the immune system and has been associated with attenuation of natural killer cell (NK) activity. This study was conducted to examine the relationship between iron status and NK activity in highly conditioned female athletes. Ten collegiate female swimmers (SWM) and 9 inactive females (SED) participated in this investigation. Resting blood samples were obtained and analyzed for serum iron and ferritin. NK activity (% lysis) was determined using a whole blood method (51Cr release assay). No significant relationship was found between iron and NK activity (r = 0.55, p = .09), nor between serum ferritin and NK activity (r = 0.33. p = .35) for SWM. ANOVA revealed significantly greater NK activity for SWM (51.63 ± 15.79%) versus SED (30.34 ± 13.67%). Serum ferritin levels were not significantly different between SWM (20.38±8.62Ƞg · ml−1) and SED (16.79±10.53Ƞg · ml−1), nor were iron values different between groups (16.54 ± 2.17 μmol · L−1 SWM; 11.92 ± 2.61 μmol · L−1 SED). A significant relationship between iron status and resting immune function could not be established. Exercise training may affect NK activity; however, the influence of iron status on immune function requires further evaluation.
Arnoud Carol, Renger F. Witkamp, Harry J. Wichers, and Marco Mensink
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of bovine colostrum to attenuate postexercise decline in immune function. The authors evaluated the time course of a number of immune variables after short-term intense exercise in 9 male athletes after 10 d of supplementation with either colostrum or skim-milk powder. To increase the stress on the immune system subjects performed a glycogen-depletion trial the evening before the endurance trial (90 min at 50% Wmax). Blood samples were taken before the glycogen-depletion trial, before and after the endurance trial, and the next morning, ~22 hr after cessation of the exercise. Plasma cortisol levels increased over time, reaching the highest level directly after exercise, and were still elevated ~22 hr after exercise compared with baseline values (p < .001). Neutrophil cell count was increased after exercise and dropped below starting values 22 hr after exercise (time effect p < .001). Circulating immunoglobulins did not change over time. A significant time effect was seen for interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1-receptor agonist, and C-reactive protein, with levels being higher directly after exercise (p < .05). Other cytokines (interferon-γ, IL-1a, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-a) did not show a time effect. No differences were seen between colostrum and skim-milk powder in any of the investigated variables. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that intense exercise affects several variables of the immune system. Colostrum did not alter any of the postexercise immune variables compared with skimmilk powder, suggesting no role for bovine colostrum supplementation in preventing postexercise immune suppression after short-term intense exercise.
Thomas Sawczuk, Ben Jones, Mitchell Welch, Clive Beggs, Sean Scantlebury, and Kevin Till
measure of athlete immune function. 16 , 17 IgA is the predominant antibody secreted by the mucosa as part of the “first line of defence” against the vast majority of infections attempting to invade the human body, 17 , 18 so it is unsurprising that some studies have associated reductions in s-IgA with
Andres E. Carrillo, René J. L. Murphy, and Stephen S. Cheung
Prolonged physical exertion and environmental heat stress may elicit postexercise depression of immune cell function, increasing upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) susceptibility. We investigated the effects of acute and short-term vitamin C (VC) compared with placebo (PL) supplementation on URTI susceptibility, salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA), and cortisol responses in healthy individuals following prolonged exercise-heat stress.
Twelve participants were randomized into the VC or PL group in a double-blind design. For 12 days, participants consumed 3 × 500 mg tablets of VC or PL per day, with testing completed at baseline, then following acute (1 d) and short-term (8 d) supplementation. Participants performed 120.1 ± 49.6 min of cycling at 54 ± 6% VO2max in a hot (34.8 ± 1.0°C and 13 ± 3% relative humidity) environment, with saliva samples collected at pre-, post-, and 72 h postexercise. Health logs specifying URTI symptoms were completed for 7 days postexercise.
A 2 × 3 × 3 mixed ANOVA with a post hoc Bonferroni correction factor revealed a significant linear trend in postexercise cortisol attenuation in the VC group, 21.7 ± 15.1 nmol/L (mean ± SD) at baseline, to 13.5 ± 10.0 at acute, to 7.6 ± 4.2 after short term (P = .032). No differences were detected in ratio of s-IgA to protein or URTI symptoms between groups.
These data suggest that vitamin C supplementation can decrease postexercise cortisol in individuals performing exercise similar to that of a half-marathon or marathon in hot conditions. However, no changes in s-IgA and URTI were evident, possibly due to previous moderate training and reduced physical and psychological stress compared with athletes participating in ultramarathons.
Michael A. Penkman, Catherine J. Field, Christopher M. Sellar, Vicki J. Harber, and Gordon J. Bell
This study determined the effect of dehydration and rehydration (DR) on performance, immune cell response, and tympanic temperature after high-intensity rowing exercis.
Seven oarswomen completed two simulated 2000-m rowing race trials separated by 72 h in a random, cross-over design. One trial was completed in a euhydrated (E) condition and the other using a DR protocol.
The DR condition resulted in a 3.33 ± 0.14% reduction in body mass (P < .05) over a 24-h period followed by a 2-h rehydration period immediately before the simulated rowing race. There was a greater change in tympanic temperature observed in the DR trial (P < .05). There were increases in the blood concentration of leukocytes, lymphocytes, lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD3+/4+, CD3+/8+, CD3−/16+, CD4+/25+; P < .05) and decreases in lymphocyte proliferation and neutrophil oxidative burst activity immediately following the simulated race (P < .05) in both trials. Blood leukocyte and neutrophil concentrations were greater after exercise in the DR trial (P < .05). Whereas most immune measures returned to resting values after 60 min of recovery in both trials, lymphocyte proliferation and the concentrations of CD3+/4+ and CD4+/25+ cells were significantly lower than before exercise. Blood leukocyte and neutrophil concentrations were significantly higher before and after exercise in the E trial.
The effects of dehydration/rehydration did not negatively influence simulated 2000-m rowing race performance in lightweight oarswomen but did produce a higher tympanic temperature and had a differential effect on blood leukocyte, neutrophil, and natural killer (CD3−/16+) cell concentrations after exercise compared with the euhydrated state.
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.
David B. Pyne, Joshua H. Guy, and Andrew M. Edwards
Heat and immune stress can affect athletes in a wide range of sports and environmental conditions. The classical thermoregulatory model of heat stress has been well characterized, as has a wide range of practical strategies largely centered on cooling and heat-acclimation training. In the last decade evidence has emerged of an inflammatory pathway that can also contribute to heat stress. Studies are now addressing the complex and dynamic interplay between hyperthermia, the coagulation cascade, and a systemic inflammatory response occurring after transient damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Damage to the intestinal mucosal membrane increases permeability, resulting in leakage of endotoxins into the circulation. Practical strategies that target both thermoregulatory and inflammatory causes of heat stress include precooling; short-term heat-acclimation training; nutritional countermeasures including hydration, energy replacement, and probiotic supplementation; pacing strategies during events; and postevent cooling measures. Cooperation between international, national, and local sporting organizations is required to ensure that heat-management policies and strategies are implemented effectively to promote athletes’ well-being and performance.
Lara A. Carlson, Samuel Headley, Jason DeBruin, Alex P. Tuckow, Alexander J. Koch, and Robert W. Kenefick
This investigation sought to study changes in leukocyte subsets after an acute bout of resistance exercise (ARE) and to determine whether ingestion of carbohydrate (CHO) could attenuate those immune responses. Nine male track-and-field athletes (21.1 ± 1.4 yr, 177.2 ± 5.5 cm, 80.9 ± 9.7 kg, 8.7% ± 3.8% fat) and 10 male ice hockey athletes (21.0 ± 2.2 yr, 174.3 ± 6.2 cm, 79.6 ±11.1 kg, 13.9% ± 3.73% fat) participated in 2 different ARE protocols. Both experiments employed a counterbalanced double-blind research design, wherein participants consumed either a CHO (1 g/kg body weight) or placebo beverage before, during, and after a weight-lifting session. Serum cortisol decreased (p < .05) at 90 min into recovery compared with immediately postexercise. Plasma lactate, total leukocyte, neutrophil, and monocyte concentrations increased (p < .05) from baseline to immediately postexercise. Lymphocytes decreased significantly (p < .05) from baseline to 90 min postexercise. Lymphocytes were lower (p < .05) for the CHO condition than for placebo. The findings of this study indicate the following: ARE appears to evoke changes in immune cells similar to those previously reported during endurance exercise, and CHO ingestion attenuates lymphocytosis after ARE.
Mariane M. Fahlman, Amy L. Morgan, Nancy McNevin, Debra J. Boardley, and Robert Topp
The study investigated the effects of 16 weeks of exercise training on s-IgA in a population of low-functioning elderly. Forty-nine volunteers were randomly divided into 4 groups: strength training (ST), aerobic training (AT), a combination (CT), or control (C). ST demonstrated a significant increase in s-IgA from pre to post and a significant increase in the secretion rate from pre to mid and post. AT demonstrated a significant increase in s-IgA from pre to mid to post with no subsequent change in the secretion rate. There were no significant changes across time in CT or C, but C had consistently lower s-IgA values at post than did CT, ST, or AT, and the secretion rate was significantly higher in CT than C at mid and post. The results demonstrate that moderate exercise has a positive effect on mucosal immunity as measured by s-IgA in low-functioning elderly, suggesting a greater resistance to upper respiratory-tract infection with involvement in an exercise program.