In their annual review “Advances in Exercise, Fitness, and Performance Genomics” featured in this month’s journal, Claude Bouchard and colleagues discuss the past year’s most interesting research reports on the genomics of muscular strength and power, cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance performance, body weight and adiposity, insulin and glucose metabolism phenotypes, lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, and hemodynamic traits. A key observation that bodes well for the field of exercise genetics is that the field is improving its level of sophistication, and that exercise scientists are adopting new emerging technologies at an ever faster pace. Overall the science is becoming stronger each year. To compliment this review, we are offering free access to a regularly cited article from our archives by Charbonneau et al. [ACE genotype and the muscle hypertrophic and strength responses to strength training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008; 40(4): 677-683].
In another fascinating review, Koga et al. explore the matching of oxygen delivery and oxygen uptake through a synthesis of findings from studies employing a wide variety of techniques, ranging from phosphorescence quenching to computer modeling. Most readers will be well aware of the redistribution of cardiac output to active muscles and away from inactive tissues during exercise; that is, a matching of blood flow/oxygen delivery at the whole body level. However, this review drills deeper to discuss the intramuscular and microvascular/myocyte tier of organization. Here, the matching of oxygen delivery to oxidative metabolism is critical for intramyocyte oxygen tension because the effectiveness of this matching sets the driving pressure for oxygen transfer from capillaries to mitochondria. The authors finish by posing a series of questions that offer clear direction for future research.
As a final highlighted feature, Williams reports on the relationship between brain cancer mortality and exercise as derived from the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Studies. The take-home result was that those who expended greater than approximately 2 MET-hours per day (equivalent to running about 8 miles per week or brisk walking 13 miles per week) showed about 40% lower risk of brain cancer mortality. In association with this article, we are releasing an epidemiological study of physical activity and cancer risk published in the journal 20 years ago [Lee and Paffenbarger. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994; 26(7): 831-837].
L. Bruce Gladden