1. Health & Exercise Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland UK
2. Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston MA.
3. Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston MA
4. School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
5. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston MA.
Objective Muscle loss and metabolic changes occur with disuse [i.e. bed rest (BR)]. We hypothesized that BR would lead to a metabolically unhealthy profile defined by: increased circulating tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, decreased circulating insulin-like-growth-factor (IGF)-1, decreased HDL-cholesterol, and decreased muscle density (MD; measured by mid-thigh computerized tomography).
Methods We investigated the metabolic profile after 28 days of BR with 8±6% energy deficit in male individuals (30-55 years) randomized to resistance exercise with amino acid supplementation (RT, n=24) or amino acid supplementation alone (EAA, n=7). Upper and lower body exercises were performed in the horizontal position. Blood samples were taken at baseline, after 28 days of BR and 14 days of recovery.
Results We found a shift toward a metabolically unfavourable profile after BR [compared to baseline (BLN)] in both groups as shown by decreased HDL-cholesterol levels (EAA: BLN: 39±4 vs. BR: 32±2 mg/dL, RT: BLN: 39±1 vs. BR: 32±1 mg/dL; p<0.001) and Low MD (EAA: BLN: 27±4 vs. BR: 22±3 cm2, RT: BLN: 28±2 vs. BR: 23±2 cm2; p<0.001). A healthier metabolic profile was maintained with exercise, including NormalMD (EAA: BLN: 124±6 vs. BR: 110±5 cm2, RT: BLN: 132±3 vs. BR: 131±4 cm2; p<0.001, time-by-group); although, exercise did not completely alleviate the unfavourable metabolic changes seen with BR. Interestingly, both groups had increased plasma IGF-1 levels (EAA: BLN:168±22 vs. BR 213±20 ng/mL, RT: BLN:180±10 vs. BR: 219±13 ng/mL; p<0.001) and neither group showed TNFα changes (p>0.05).
Conclusions We conclude that RT can be incorporated to potentially offset the metabolic complications of BR.
Keywords: resistance training, essential amino acids, energy deficit, metabolic profile