Exercise-Induced Immunodepression in Endurance Athletes and Nutritional Intervention with Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat-What Is Possible, What Is Not?

Nutrients (Impact Factor: 3.27). 09/2012; 4(9):1187-212. DOI: 10.3390/nu4091187
Source: PubMed


Heavily exercising endurance athletes experience extreme physiologic stress, which is associated with temporary immunodepression and higher risk of infection, particularly upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). The aim of this review is to provide a critical up-to-date review of existing evidence on the immunomodulatory potential of selected macronutrients and to evaluate their efficacy. The results of 66 placebo-controlled and/or crossover trials were compared and analysed. Among macronutrients, the most effective approach to maintain immune function in athletes is to consume ≥6% carbohydrate during prolonged exercise. Because inadequate nutrition affects almost all aspects of the immune system, a well-balanced diet is also important. Evidence of beneficial effects from other macronutrients is scarce and results are often inconsistent. Using a single nutrient may not be as effective as a mixture of several nutritional supplements. Due to limited research evidence, with the exception of carbohydrate, no explicit recommendations to reduce post-exercise URTI symptoms with single macronutrients can be derived.

Download full-text


Available from: Wolfgang Gunzer, Dec 03, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The topic of sports nutrition has received considerable attention over the past few decades, and it is likely to get even more attention, given that nutrition plays such an important and sometimes crucial role in an athlete’s performance. Indeed, nutrition influences nearly every process in the body involved in energy production and recovery from exercise. To understand and apply the principles of sport nutrition, some basic understanding of nutrition, exercise physiology and sport science are necessary.The nutritional approach for training and competition is one of the most important concerns of sport nutrition science. Exercise produces several molecular, biochemical and physiological responses and the aim of a well designed diet is to guarantee a correct intake of energy, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water in order to support basic nutrition requirements as well as pre-, during and post-exercise specific nutrition phases. A very interesting subject of sport nutrition is the use of supplements and their effects on human performance and health.The number of supplements introduced to the market is huge, however, only few products are apparently effective and scientifically proven by a solid core of reference. For many other supplements normally used by athletes, the data are anecdotic or based on only a few studies and thus their use cannot be universally recommended. A key item in sport nutrition is the manipulation of body mass and body composition. Reducing fat mass is desirable in many sports with weight categories and increasing muscle mass can be an advantage in sports that require strength and power. Finally, nutritional requirements can be different for women, young and elderly athletes. These categories have different age and sex-related physiological needs and specific nutrition strategies must be planned to guarantee adequate exercise adaptation and maintain overall health.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Progress in Nutrition
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Angelica sinensis (AS) is a well-known medicinal herb and food material with antioxidative and multifunctional pharmacological activities. However, we lack evidence of the effect of AS on exercise performance and physical fatigue. We aimed to evaluate the potential beneficial effect of AS on ergogenic and anti-fatigue functions after physiological challenge. Male ICR strain mice were randomly assigned to four groups (n = 10 per group) for treatment: (1) sedentary control and vehicle treatment (vehicle control); (2) exercise training with vehicle treatment (exercise control); (3) exercise training with AS treatment at 0.41 g/kg/day (Ex-AS1); and (4) 2.05 g/kg/day (Ex-AS5); both the vehicle and AS were orally administered for 6 weeks. Exercise performance and anti-fatigue function were evaluated by forelimb grip strength, exhaustive swimming time, and levels of serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine kinase (CK) after a 15-min swimming exercise. Trend analysis revealed that AS treatments significantly increased endurance swimming time and blood glucose level, and decreased serum lactate, ammonia and CK levels. Liver and muscle glycogen contents were higher for Ex-AS1 and Ex-AS5 groups than the exercise control. Therefore, AS supplementation improved exercise performance and had anti-fatigue properties in mice and may be an effective ergogenic aid in exercise training.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Molecules
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The authors sought to determine the association between physical inactivity (characterized by exercise and television watching levels) and long-term rates of community-acquired sepsis. Population-based cohort study of 30,183 adult (≥45years) community-dwelling participants. Subjects reported weekly exercise (low=none, medium=1-3 times/week, high=≥4 times/week) and daily television watching (low=<1hour/day, medium=1-3 hours/day, high=≥4hours/day) levels. The authors evaluated the association between exercise, television watching and rates of sepsis, defined as hospital treatment for a serious infection with ≥2 Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) criteria. Among 30,183 participants, 1,500 experienced a sepsis event. Reported weekly exercise was: high 8,798 (29.2%), medium 10,695 (35.4%), and low 10,240 (33.9%). Where available, reported daily television watching was: low 4,615 (19.6%), medium 11,587 (49.3%) and high 7,317 (31.1%). Decreased weekly exercise was associated with increased adjusted sepsis rates (high - referent; medium HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.96-1.20; low 1.33, 1.13-1.56). Daily television watching was not associated with sepsis rates. Sepsis rates were highest among those with both low exercise and high television watching levels (HR 1.49, 95% CI: 1.10-2.01). Physical inactivity may be associated with increased long-term rates of community-acquired sepsis.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Preventive Medicine
Show more