Responses of inflammatory cytokines following moderate intensity walking exercise in overweight or obese individuals

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Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation


This study investigated the effects of a 4-week moderate intensity walk-ing exercise on the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and adiponectin in overweight or obese individu-als. Twenty-seven (13 men and 14 women) physically inactive, over-weight or obese (body mass index > 25.0 kg/m2) individuals participated in the study. Each participant was randomly assigned to either exercise (EX; n=15) or control (CON; n=12) group. The EX group performed mod-erate intensity walking exercise on a treadmill for 60 min at 70% of max-imal heart rate for 4 weeks (3 days/wk). Overnight fasting blood samples were collected before and after the study period (Pre and Post) to ana-lyze the levels of pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokines such as CRP, TNF-α, and adiponectin. CRP and adiponectin as well as body weight and body composition were not significantly altered following the 4-week exer-cise intervention. However, there was a significant group×time interac-tion for TNF-α. The post hoc test revealed that the level of TNF-α signifi-cantly decreased only in EX (EX: mean±standard deviation, Pre 55.18±6.57 pg/mL, Post 50.31±6.22, P=0.018 vs. CON: Pre 55.5±5.88, Post 58.19±6.48, P=0.25). EX Post was also significantly lower as com-pared to CON Post (P=0.0074). Although there was no change in body weight or fat mass, the 4-week aerobic exercise training was long enough to decrease the level of TNF-α, indicating physical activity may improve level of inflammation independently from the change in fat mass. The current study also confirmed previous research suggesting that longer period of exercise training accompanied by weight loss may be required to induce significant changes in CRP and adiponectin.

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