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Lipids. 2000 Dec;35(12):1313-8.

In vivo evaluation of the effects of continuous exercise on skeletal muscle triglycerides in trained humans.

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The Robert Steiner MRI Unit, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, England, UK.


Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) and imaging (MRI) were used to investigate the effects of a bout of moderate prolonged exercise on intra (IMCL)- and extramyocellular lipid (EMCL) utilization in the soleus, tibialis anterior, and gastrocnemius muscles of five trained human subjects. MRI and 1H MRS measurements were obtained before and after a 90 min run on a calibrated treadmill at a velocity corresponding to 64 +/- 1.5% of each subjects' maximal rate of oxygen consumption. There were significant decreases in IMCL following exercise in the tibialis (pre: 22.37 +/- 4.33 vs. post: 15.16 +/- 3.25 mmol/kg dry wt; P < 0.01) and soleus (pre: 36.93 +/- 1.45 vs. post: 29.85 +/- 2.44 mmol/kg dry wt; P < 0.01) muscles. There was also a decrease in the gastrocnemius muscle, although this did not reach the level of significance (pre: 33.78 +/- 5.35 vs. post: 28.48 +/- 5.44 mmol/kg dry weight; P < 0.10). No significant changes were observed in EMCL or subcutaneous fat. In conclusion, this study showed that IMCL were significantly utilized in the tibialis and soleus muscles of aerobically endurance-trained humans. The absence of significant utilization of IMCL in the gastrocnemius may reflect differences in fiber type and/or intensity of contraction for each muscle group.

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