Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2018 Dec 21;13(12):e0202784. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202784. eCollection 2018.

The synergism of high-intensity intermittent exercise and every-other-day intermittent fasting regimen on energy metabolism adaptations includes hexokinase activity and mitochondrial efficiency.

Author information

Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Laboratory of Exercise Biochemistry and Molecular Motors, Bioscience Department, School of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Laboratory of Bioenergetics and Mitochondrial Physiology, Institute of Medical Biochemistry Leopoldo de Meis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Visceral lipid accumulation, organ hypertrophy and a reduction in skeletal muscle strength are all signs associated with the severity of obesity-related disease. Intermittent fasting (IF) and high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) are natural strategies that, individually, can prevent and help treat obesity along with metabolic syndrome and its associated diseases. However, the combinatorial effect of IF and HIIE on energetic metabolism is currently not well understood. We hypothesized that their combination could have a potential for more than strictly additive benefits. Here, we show that two months of every-other-day intermittent fasting regimen combined with a high-intensity intermittent exercise protocol (IF/HIIE) produced a synergistic effect, enhancing physical endurance (vs. control, HIIE and IF) and optimizing metabolic pathways of energy production in male Wistar rats. The IF/HIIE group presented enhanced glucose tolerance (vs. control, HIIE and IF), lower levels of plasma insulin (vs. control and HIIE), and a global activation of low Km hexokinases in liver (vs. control, HIIE and IF), heart (vs. control and HIIE) and skeletal muscle (vs. control, HIIE and IF). The IF/HIIE synergism, rather than a simply additive effect, is evidenced by increase in muscle mass and cross-section area, activation of the FoF1 ATP synthase, and the gain of characteristics suggestive of augmented mitochondrial mass and efficiency observed in this group. Finally, important reductions in plasma oxidative stress markers were present preferentially in IF/HIIE group. These findings provide new insights for the implementation of non-pharmaceutical strategies to prevent/treat metabolic syndrome and associated diseases.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center