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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1998 Jul;18(7):1181-7.

Exercise and cardiovascular disease: a new perspective.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) has been suggested as a key event in atherogenesis. Paradoxically, exercise, which imposes an oxidative stress, is an important deterrent of cardiovascular disease. In study 1 the oxidizability of LDL was enhanced in exercisers compared with sedentary controls. The lag time of isolated LDL subjected to copper-induced in vitro oxidation was significantly shortened in the exercisers compared with sedentary subjects. This increased sensitivity was not due to a decreased presence of vitamin E. Instead, these findings suggested that the LDL of exercisers may contain increased amounts of preformed lipid peroxides, which account for the increased oxidizability. In study 2, a group x sex ANOVA revealed that male exercisers had a significantly longer mean lag time than male sedentary subjects and that females had similar mean lag times regardless of exercise group. This remained the case when statistical adjustment was made for age, body mass index, blood lipid levels, LDL, and plasma alpha-tocopherol levels. Study 1 exercisers had been in training for a shorter time (< 1 year) than study 2 exercisers (> 2 years). These findings suggest that truly "chronic" exercise (aerobic intensity over several months) decreases the susceptibility of a male exerciser's LDL to undergo oxidation. Conversely, regular aerobic stress during an overall shorter time span creates a more oxidative environment in the body, thus increasing the susceptibility of LDL to undergo oxidation. The oxidative stress of aerobic exercise does not appear to adversely affect the oxidizability of LDL in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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