Athletes’ Microbiome May Be Conditioned For Performance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Orla O’Sullivan

Computational Biologist,
Teagasc Food Research Centre,
Moorepark, Co. Cork,
Ireland 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previously we had demonstrated that professional rugby players had significantly increased microbial diversity compared to both low and high BMI controls. This microbial diversity correlated with creatine kinase levels in the blood (which we had used as a proxy for exercise) and protein intake. In this present study we went a step further and demonstrated that these same athletes had distinct functional potential in their gut microbes compared to controls and furthermore both the host derived ( urine) and bacterial derived ( faecal water) metabolites were also distinct in the athlete group. In particular we found that the athlete’s microbiome is primed for tissue repair and to harness energy from the diet, reflecting the significant energy demands and high cell-turnover evident in elite sport.

Thus, the state of physical fitness is not limited to the host alone; it appears to also include conditioning of the microbiota.

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Regular, Long-term Resistance Training or Jump-Training Increases Bone Mass

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pamela S. Hinton, Ph.D. Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Columbia MO 65211

Dr. Hinton

Pamela S. Hinton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
Columbia MO 65211

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study builds on our previous work showing that weight-bearing, high-impact physical activity throughout the lifespan is associated with greater bone mass in men.  We previously conducted a 12-month randomized trial of the effectiveness of resistance training versus jump training to increase bone mass in men with low bone density of the hip or lumbar spine.

The current study is a follow up study investigating how exercise might work to increase bone mass.

The main findings are that exercise reduced circulating levels of a bone protein that inhibits bone formation (sclerostin) and increased levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), a hormone with osteogenic effects.

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Effect of Moderate-Intensity Exercise Training on Peak Oxygen Consumption in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sara Saberi, MD Assistant Professor Inherited Cardiomyopathy Program Frankel Cardiovascular Center University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems

Dr. Sara Saberi

Sara Saberi, MD
Assistant Professor
Inherited Cardiomyopathy Program
Frankel Cardiovascular Center
University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are often told not to exercise or to significantly curb their exercise due to concern over the potential risk of increased ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. There is no data regarding risks/benefits of exercise in HCM though. There is, however, data that shows that patients with HCM are less active and more obese than the general population AND a majority feel that exercise restrictions negatively impact their emotional well-being.

So, we devised a randomized clinical trial of a 16-week moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program versus usual activity with the primary outcome being change in peak VO2 (oxygen consumption). This exercise intervention resulted in a 1.27 mL/kg/min improvement in peak VO2 over the usual activity group, a statistically significant finding. There were no major adverse events (no death, aborted sudden cardiac death, appropriate ICD therapies, or sustained ventricular tachycardia). There was also a 10% improvement in quality of life as measured by the Physical Functioning scale of the SF-36v2.

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High School Students Increasingly Specializing in One Sport

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael G. Ciccotti, MD Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Rothman Institute Chief of Sports Medicine, and Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Michael Ciccotti

Michael G. Ciccotti, MD
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Rothman Institute
Chief of Sports Medicine, and
Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship
Thomas Jefferson University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? 

Response: No doubt sports plays a huge role in the United States and all over world with millions of young people between the ages 6 and 18 participating in an organized sport on a regular basis.

Over the past decade, there has been a tremendous focus on youth single sport specialization (SSS), with pressure from coaches, parents and the athletes themselves to participate in one sport year round. Many participants, coaches and parents believe that early specialization may allow the young athlete to become better and progress more quickly in their sport, perhaps allowing them a greater chance of becoming a professional athlete. This drive toward early specialization has been fueled by popular icons i.e. Tiger Woods (golf) and Lionel “Leo” Messi (soccer) as well as by media hits such as Friday Night Tykes (young football players) and The Short Game (7-year old golfers). The pop-psych writer, Malcolm Gladwell, whose The 10,000 Hour Rule (in his book Outliers) holds that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are needed to become world-class in any field may have also encouraged the specialization trend.

There is little doubt that youth sports may encourage a lifelong interest in a healthy lifestyle as well as improved self-esteem and social relationships. The flip side is that extreme training and singular focus on a sport can lead to stress on the developing musculo-skeletal system, a pressure to succeed at all costs, reduced fun, burnout and sometimes social isolation.

The dilemma we are beginning to scratch the surface of is does single sport specialization enhance the likelihood of getting to an elite level and does it increase the risk of injury? There is a growing sense in the medical community that SSS raises injury risk without enhancing progression to a higher level.

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Gender Differences in Sweating Explained By Size

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sean Notley, PhD. Postdoctoral Fellow School of Human Kinetics | École des sciences de l'activité physique University of Ottawa | Université d'Ottawa Ottawa ON

Dr. Notley

Sean Notley, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Human Kinetics | École des sciences de l’activité physique
University of Ottawa | Université d’Ottawa
Ottawa ON

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Gender-differences in human heat loss (skin blood flow and sweating) have long been ascribed to innate differences between men and women. However, we believed that these were more related more to size than to gender, because most previous research compared average (larger) men with average (smaller) women. In our view, the size and shape (morphology) of an individual might be as important, if not more important, than gender in determining heat loss.

When we matched men and women for body morphology, and when we studied those participants in tolerable conditions, we found that larger men and women were more dependent on sweating and less on skin blood flow, while smaller individuals were more reliant on skin blood flow and less on sweating. Moreover, as anticipated, gender differences in those heat-loss responses could be explained almost entirely by individual variations in morphology.

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Weak Thigh Muscles Contribute to Knee Arthritis in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adam Culvenor, PT, PhD

Dr. Adam Culvenor

Adam Culvenor, PT, PhD
Research Fellow,Institute of Anatomy
Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität
Strubergasse Salzburg, Austria

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Thigh muscle weakness, particularly of the knee extensors (quadriceps), is a common feature of people with knee osteoarthritis. Thigh muscle weakness could be a consequence of knee osteoarthritis, or precede knee osteoarthritis development. There is conflicting evidence regarding the role of thigh muscle weakness as a risk factor for incident knee osteoarthritis in both men and women. Thigh muscle specific strength is a measure of muscle quality incorporating both the capacity of the muscle to produce force as well as muscle structure (ie. size, cross-sectional area), and preliminary data suggests this may be a more relevant measure of strength in relation to knee osteoarthritis development.

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Physical Activity Not Enough To Ward Off Weight Gain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chica

Dr. Lara Dugas

Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS
Public Health Sciences
Loyola University Chicago

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Our NIH-funded study is led by Dr. Amy Luke, Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, and is titled “Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition study” or METS. It was initiated in 2010, and 2,500 young African-origin adults were recruited from 5 countries, spanning the Human Development Index (HDI), a WHO index used to rank countries according to 4 tiers of development. The 5 countries include the US, Seychelles, Jamaica, South Africa, and Ghana. Within each country 500 young adults, 25-45 yrs., and 50% male, were recruited and followed prospectively for 3 years. Each year, contactable participants completed a health screening, body composition, wore an activity monitor for 7 days, and told researchers everything they had eaten in the preceding 24hrs. Our main research questions we were trying to answer were to understand the impact of diet and physical activity on the development of obesity, and cardiovascular disease in young adults. It was important to have countries spanning the HDI, with differences in both country-level dietary intake and physical activity levels.

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Physical Activity and Abnormal Blood Glucose Among Healthy Weight Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Arch G. Mainous III, PhD  HSRMP Department Chair Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration University of Florida Health

Dr. Arch G. Mainous III

Arch G. Mainous III, PhD
HSRMP Department Chair
Florida Blue Endowed Professor of Health Administration
University of Florida Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As our post-industrial society becomes more and more sedentary, there is a concern that a lack of activity is associated with poor health outcomes like diabetes. At the same time, the medical community has a strong focus on determining whether patients are overweight or obese as a way to classify them as  being at higher risk for poor health outcomes. However, individuals at a “healthy weight” in general, are considered to be at low risk. Some recent studies have shown that many individuals at “healthy weight” are not metabolically healthy. How then might we predict who at “healthy weight” would be unhealthy? We hypothesized that individuals at “healthy weight” who had a sedentary lifestyle would be more likely to have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes.

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Physical Activity Linked to Improved Survival from Metastatic Colon Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brendan John Guercio, M.D. Clinical Fellow in Medicine (EXT) Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Brendan Guercio

Brendan John Guercio, M.D.
Clinical Fellow in Medicine (EXT)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for the development of colon cancer and has been associated with increased disease recurrence and mortality in patients with early stage colorectal cancer. This is the first study to our knowledge to show an association between increased physical activity (i.e. non-sedentary lifestyle) and improved survival and progression-free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

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45 Minutes of Exercise Per Week Maintains Function in Adults With Arthritis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dorothy D. Dunlop Ph.D. Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Institute for Public Health and Medicine Center for Healthcare Studies Chicago, IL 60611

Dr. Dorothy Dunlop

Dorothy D. Dunlop Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Institute for Public Health and Medicine
Center for Healthcare Studies
Chicago, IL 60611 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 

  • We know is being active is good for health.
  • Good evidence supports the current federal guidelines of doing 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week to prevent serious conditions such as heart disease
  • But only 1 in 10 older US adults with arthritis in their lower limb joints (e.g., knees) meet federal physical activity guidelines
  • Inadequate physical activity is a major public health concern because It can lead to poor function, which threatens a person’s ability to live independently.

These issues motivated our study to investigate the minimum time commitment needed to improve function (or sustain high function) for adults with lower joint osteoarthritis.

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“Weekend Warriors” Reduce Mortality From Heart Disease and Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gary O’Donovan, Ph.D. Research Associate: Exercise as Medicine School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine Loughborough University

Dr. Gary O’Donovan,

Gary O’Donovan, Ph.D.
Research Associate: Exercise as Medicine
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
Loughborough University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study was inspired by the classic Harvard University study of weekend warriors. It was a privilege to work with Professor I-Min Lee, one of the authors of the classic study. Our study was much larger than the classic study.

With greater statistical power, we found that, compared with inactive adults, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and cancer mortality risks were significantly lower in weekend warriors who performed the recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity in one or two sessions per week. Our study extends the classic study by showing that the benefits of the weekend warrior physical activity pattern are much the same in men and women.

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In-Bed Cycling Feasible for ICU Patients on Ventilation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michelle Kho, PT, PhD</strong> Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Rehabilitation and Knowledge Translation Assistant Professor School of Rehabilitation Science McMaster University

Dr. Michelle Kho

Michelle Kho, PT, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Rehabilitation and Knowledge Translation
Assistant Professor
School of Rehabilitation Science
McMaster University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Patients who survive the ICU are at risk for muscle weakness and can experience physical functional disability lasting 5 to 8 years after the ICU. From a study conducted in Belgium, patients who were randomized to receive cycling after being in ICU for 2 weeks walked farther at ICU discharge than those who did not. Other research supported physiotherapy starting within days of starting mechanical ventilation to improve functional outcomes. Our CYCLE research program combines these 2 concepts – Can we start cycling very early in a patient’s ICU stay, and will this improve functional outcomes post-ICU?

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