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J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014 Sep;18(3):267-75. doi: 10.5717/jenb.2014.18.3.267. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

The effects of pilates exercise on lipid metabolism and inflammatory cytokines mRNA expression in female undergraduates.

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Department of Physical Education, Dongduk Women's University, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of the study was to verify the effects of Pilates exercise by observing the impact of 8 weeks of Pilates exercise on lipid metabolism and inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in female undergraduates in their 20s who had no prior experience in Pilates exercise and had not exercised in the previous 6 months.


There were 18 subjects with no prior experience in Pilates exercise. The subjects were separated into the Pilates exercise group (n = 9) and the non-exercise control group (n = 9). The former performed Pilates exercise for 60-70 minutes over 8 weeks with a gradual strength increase of 9-16 in the Rating of Perceived Exercise (RPE). The body composition, creatine kinase in the bloodstream and lipid metabolism (TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, TG) were measured before and after the experiment and Real-Time PCR was used to investigate the mRNA expression of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-⍺.


The creatine kinase (CK) in the blood had significant differences between the groups. The test group showed significant increase compared to the control group after 8 weeks of Pilates exercise (p = 0.007). Lipid analysis showed that the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was significantly different in the two groups (p = 0.049), with the Pilates exercise group exhibiting significantly higher levels compared to the control group. No significant differences were observed in the levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride (TG). IL-6 mRNA expression did not show significant differences between the groups either. Timing and TNF-α mRNA expression showed significant effect in both the exercise and the control groups (p = 0.013) but no correlation.


It was found from the study that Pilates exercise for 8 weeks affected CK expression (the muscle damage marker) and induced positive changes in the levels of high-density lipoprotein.


Pilates; creatine kinase; inflammatory cytokine mRNA; lipid metabolism

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