News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief: Andrew M. Jones
This month's eclectic collection of high-quality research articles has landed and, as usual, I have highlighted three that caught my attention.
Several of the important health benefits of endurance exercise, including decreased abdominal fat, have been attributed to the secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6) from contracting skeletal muscle. This IL-6 response is proportional to exercise volume and lactate production. In “Caffeine Augments the Lactate and Interleukin-6 Response to Moderate-Intensity Exercise" Abbotts et al. demonstrated that caffeine ingestion increased the lactate response to 30-minutes of moderate-intensity cycling exercise in men and women, but only enhanced IL-6 in men. For men unwilling or unable to perform high-intensity and/or long-duration exercise, caffeine may augment IL-6 mediated health benefits of relatively short-duration, moderate-intensity exercise. Definitive explanations for the apparent sex-difference remain elusive.
The brain contributes to sports performance through its function in sensorimotor control. After exposure to exercise, neural processes are modulated transiently and affect sensorimotor control. Although exercise intensity has been investigated, the role of exercise mode in this interaction has rarely been considered. In “The Mode of Endurance Exercise Influences Changes in EEG Resting State Graphs among High-Level Cross-Country Skiers", Büchel et al. observed that exercise mode influences the acute responses of brain function to exercise. Through the assessment of electroencephalography resting state networks, mode-dependent modulations were observed in networks associated with task-related information processing. The findings underscore the complex interplay between acute exercise and brain function and highlight the need to integrate the brain into exercise physiology.
Frailty is an important global public health problem among older adults, and it has been reported that frailty is associated with adverse outcomes such as mortality and disability. In 'Dose-Response Relationships between Objectively Measured Daily Steps and Mortality among Frail and Non-frail Older Adults', Watanabe et al. demonstrated that the relationship between daily steps and mortality is different between those with and those without frailty, and people with frailty may require more daily steps than those with non-frailty to achieve the inverse relationship with mortality. The daily step count dose-response curve at which the hazard ratio for mortality plateaued among non-frail individuals was approximately 5000–7000 steps per day. In contrast, the daily step count showed an inverse relationship with mortality at approximately 5000 steps or more per day in frail individuals. These findings may be useful for informing future physical activity guidelines.
Andrew M. Jones
University of Exeter