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Aerobic fitness does not modulate protein metabolism in response to increased exercise: a controlled trial

Author(s): Smith Tracey | Pikosky Matthew | Grediagin Ann | Castaneda-Sceppa Carmen | Byerley Lauri | Glickman Ellen | Young Andrew

Journal: Nutrition & Metabolism
ISSN 1743-7075

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 28;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background A sudden increase in exercise and energy expenditure is associated with an increase in protein turnover and nitrogen excretion. This study examined how a sudden increase in exercise-induced energy expenditure affected whole body protein metabolism and nitrogen balance in people of differing levels of aerobic fitness. We hypothesized that alterations in whole-body protein turnover would be attenuated, and nitrogen balance would be preserved, in individual with higher levels of aerobic fitness. Methods Eleven men, categorized as either having a lower (LOW-FIT; n = 5) or higher (FIT; n = 6) aerobic fitness level, completed a 4-d baseline period (BL) of an energy balance diet while maintaining usual physical activity level, followed by a 7-d intervention consisting of 1,000 kcal·d-1 increased energy expenditure via exercise (50–65% VO2peak). All volunteers consumed 0.9 g protein·kg-1·d-1 and total energy intake was adjusted to maintain energy balance throughout the 11-d study. Mean nitrogen balance (NBAL) was determined for BL, days 5–8 (EX1), and days 9–11 (EX2). Whole-body protein turnover was derived from phenylalanine and tyrosine kinetics assessed while fasting at rest on days 4, 7, and 12 using a priming dose of L-[ring-15N]tyrosine and a 4-h primed, continuous infusion of L-[15N]phenylalanine and L-[ring-2H4]tyrosine. Results A significant main effect of time indicated that NBAL increased over the course of the intervention; however, a group-by-time interaction was not observed. Although FIT demonstrated a lower net protein oxidation and higher net protein balance compared to LOW-FIT, neither the effect of time nor a group-by-time interaction was significant for Phe flux, net protein oxidation, or derived whole-body protein synthesis and net protein balance. Conclusion The absence of significant group-by-time interactions in protein metabolism (i.e., NBAL and whole-body protein turnover) between LOW-FIT and FIT males suggest that aerobic fitness level does not modulate protein "sparing" in response to an unaccustomed increase in energy expenditure.
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