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Plasma organochlorine concentrations in endurance athletes and obese individuals


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2002 - Volume 34 - Issue 12 - p 1971-1975
Basic Sciences: Original Investigations

PELLETIER, C., J.-P. DESPRÉS, and A. TREMBLAY. Plasma organochlorine concentrations in endurance athletes and obese individuals. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 12, pp. 1971–1975, 2002.

Purpose Organochlorines are lipophilic compounds that are ingested with food and that accumulate in adipose tissue. Their plasma concentrations were compared in three groups of individuals with different body fatness characteristics: endurance athletes, lean sedentary subjects, and obese individuals.

Methods The relationship between body fat mass and total plasma organochlorine concentration adjusted for age was analyzed by pooling data of sedentary lean and obese subjects. The regression equation derived from this analysis was also used to predict residual scores of total organochlorine concentrations in trained individuals, which were compared to measured values in these subjects.

Results Plasma organochlorine concentrations tended to be lower in athletes in comparison with values measured among lean sedentary individuals. Their concentrations were higher in obese individuals than in lean sedentary subjects and athletes. Total plasma organochlorine concentration was positively associated to body fat mass in the sedentary group (lean and obese combined, reference population).

Conclusion Large adipose tissue compartment such as observed in obese individuals is associated with increased levels of circulating organochlorines, whereas leaner sedentary and trained persons have a lower plasma concentration of these compounds.

Physical Activity Sciences Laboratory and Division of Kinesiology, PEPS and Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Laval University, Ste-Foy (Québec), CANADA

Address for correspondence: Angelo Tremblay, Ph.D., Division of Kinesiology, PEPS, Laval University, Ste-Foy (Québec), G1K 7P4, Canada; E-mail:

Submitted for publication November 2001.

Accepted for publication July 2002.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.