Effects of acute physical exercise on oxidative stress and inflammatory status in young, sedentary obese subjects

Marta Greco

Obesity is typically associated with a chronic low-grade inflammation, characterized by increased levels of reactive oxygen species, contributing to an oxidative stress condition.
The health benefits of moderate and regular physical activity in obese patients, useful to prevent cardiovascular and metabolic complications, could be attributed, in part, to a stimulation of endogenous antioxidant defenses. Circulating oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory markers change after regular physical exercise; however, how a short session of acute physical activity affects the inflammatory status and redox balance in sedentary individuals is still unclear.
Aim of this study is to evaluate some indirect markers of oxidative stress and inflammatory parameters, both at rest and after acute exercise, in sedentary young men with or without obesity.
In these study, thirty sedentary male volunteers, aged 20–45 (mean age 32 ± 7 years), were recruited. The subject enrolled have been divided into 3 groups: normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/ m2); overweight to moderate obesity (25–35 kg/m2); severe obesity (35–40 kg/m2). The following analytes were determined in blood samples from the enrolled subjects: Glutathione Reductase, Glutathione Peroxidase, Superoxide Dismutase, Total Antioxidant Status, cytokines and growth factors (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-1α, IL-1β, TNFα, MCP-1, VEGF, IFNγ, EGF) before and after a 20-min run at ~ 70% of their VO2max. Inter-group comparisons demonstrated significantly higher Glutathione Reductase activity in severely obese subjects in the post-exercise period and higher EGF levels in normal weight individuals, either before and after exercise. Intra-group comparisons showed that the acute exercise stress induced a significant increase in Glutathione Reductase activity in severely obese subjects only, a significant decrease in MCP-1 in the normal weight group, and a decrease in EGF levels in all groups. Our results suggest that in sedentary individuals with different ranges of BMI, the activation of the endogenous antioxidant markers related to oxidative stress and distinct cytokines are differentially involved into the adaptive metabolic changes and redox responses induced by physical exercise. Therefore, these biomarkers may have the potential to identify individuals at higher risk for developing diseases pathophysiologically linked to oxidative stress.

 

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