University of Oulu

Gagnon, D. D., Dorman, S., Ritchie, S., Mutt, S. J., Stenbäck, V., Walkowiak, J., & Herzig, K.-H. (2019). Multi-Day Prolonged Low- to Moderate-Intensity Endurance Exercise Mimics Training Improvements in Metabolic and Oxidative Profiles Without Concurrent Chromosomal Changes in Healthy Adults. Frontiers in Physiology, 10.

Multi-day prolonged low- to moderate-intensity endurance exercise mimics training improvements in metabolic and oxidative profiles without concurrent chromosomal changes in healthy adults

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Author: Gagnon, Dominique D.1,2; Dorman, Sandra1,2,3; Ritchie, Stephen1,2;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Environmental Exercise Physiology, School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada
2Center of Research in Occupational Safety and Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada
3Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Sudbury, ON, Canada
4Research Unit of Biomedicine, Department of Physiology and Biocenter of Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-25


Background: Oxidative stress results in lipid, protein, and DNA oxidation, resulting in telomere erosion, chromosomal damage, and accelerated cellular aging. Training promotes healthy metabolic and oxidative profiles whereas the effects of multi-day, prolonged, and continuous exercise are unknown. This study investigated the effects of multi-day prolonged exercise on metabolic and oxidative stress as well as telomere integrity in healthy adults.

Methods: Fifteen participants performed a 14-day, 260-km, wilderness canoeing expedition (12 males) (EXP) (24 ± 7 years, 72 ± 6 kg, 178 ± 8.0 cm, 18.4 ± 8.4% BF, 47.5 ± 9.3 mlO₂ kg⁻¹ min⁻¹), requiring 6–9 h of low- to moderate-intensity exercise daily. Ten controls participated locally (seven males) (CON) (31 ± 11 years, 72 ± 15 kg, 174 ± 10 cm, 22.8 ± 10.0% BF, 47.1 ± 9.0 mlO₂ kg⁻¹ min⁻¹). Blood plasma, serum, and mononuclear cells were sampled before and after the expedition to assess hormonal, metabolic, and oxidative changes.

Results: Serum cholesterol, high- and low-density lipoprotein, testosterone, insulin, sodium, potassium, urea, and chloride concentrations were not different between groups, whereas triglycerides, glucose, and creatinine levels were lower following the expedition (p < 0.001). Malondialdehyde and relative telomere length (TL) were unaffected (EXP: 4.2 ± 1.3 vs. CON: 4.1 ± 0.7 μM; p > 0.05; EXP: 1.00 ± 0.48 vs. CON: 0.89 ± 0.28 TS ratio; p = 0.77, respectively); however, superoxidase dismutase activity was greater in the expedition group (3.1 ± 0.4 vs. 0.8 ± 0.5 U ml⁻¹; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: These results indicate a modest improvement in metabolic and oxidative profiles with increased superoxidase dismutase levels, suggesting an antioxidative response to counteract the exercise-associated production of free radicals and reactive oxygen species during prolonged exercise, mimicking the effects from long-term training. Although improved antioxidant activity may lead to increased TL, the present exercise stimulus was insufficient to promote a positive cellular aging profile with concordant chromosomal changes in our healthy and young participants.

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Series: Frontiers in physiology
ISSN: 1664-042X
ISSN-E: 1664-042X
ISSN-L: 1664-042X
Volume: 10
Article number: 1123
DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01123
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: This study was partly supported by a Travel Research Grant from the University of Oulu and a Laurentian University Research Grant (LURF#6008209). Dr. DG was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant (NSERC#2016-060883).
Copyright information: © 2019 Gagnon, Dorman, Ritchie, Mutt, Stenbäck, Walkowiak and Herzig. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.