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Lipoprotein Subfraction Changes after Continuous or Intermittent Exercise Training


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 367-372
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000185088.33669.fd
APPLIED SCIENCES: Physical Fitness and Performance

Purpose: This study compared total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and their respective subfractions after completing 4 wk of either intermittent (INT-EX) or continuous (CON-EX) aerobic exercise training (TRAIN).

Methods: Untrained males (N = 7) and females (N = 11) completed 4 wk of TRAIN of supervised treadmill jogging occurring 5 d·wk−1 for 30 min per session at 60% V̇O2max (75% HRmax). CON-EX was a single 30-min bout. INT-EX consisted of three 10-min bouts separated by 20 min of seated rest. Pre- and post-TRAIN fasting plasma samples were collected after subjects had followed 48 h of activity restriction and a 24-h repeated diet including a 12-h dietary fast. Postprandial lipemia was measured for 8 h following a standardized high-fat meal.

Results: Fasting triglycerides and very LDL-C were not affected by TRAIN, and TRAIN did not change postprandial area under the curve or peak in either group. With groups combined, TRAIN significantly decreased TC, total LDL-C, and the TC:HDL ratio, and increased HDL-C subfraction 2 and LDL mean particle size. Total intermediate-density lipoprotein cholesterol remained unchanged at post-TRAIN, and was not different between groups.

Conclusions: To prevent dyslipidemia, our findings suggest that persons who are normolipidemic can improve the lipoprotein profile equally with CON-EX and INT-EX by lowered TC through the sum of changes in LDL-C subfractions, increased mean LDL particle size, and increased HDL-C subfraction 2 concentration.

1Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO; and 2Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO

Address for correspondence: Tom R. Thomas, Exercise Physiology Program, University of Missouri-Columbia, 106 McKee Gymnasium, Columbia, MO 65211; E-mail:

Submitted for publication March 2005.

Accepted for publication August 2005.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine