Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strength training improves vascular function in young black men

Date:
December 21, 2012
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Six weeks of weight training can significantly improve blood markers of cardiovascular health in young African-American men, researchers report.

Six weeks of weight training can significantly improve blood markers of cardiovascular health in young African-American men, researchers report in the Journal of Human Hypertension.

The researchers measured blood markers associated with inflammation, immune response or the remodeling of arteries that normally occur after tissue damage, infection or other types of stress. They found that levels of two of these markers dropped significantly in African-American men but not in Caucasian men after six weeks of resistance training.

"This suggests that resistance exercise training is more beneficial in young African-American men than in Caucasian men of the same age," said Bo Fernhall, the dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Fernhall led the study as a professor in the department of kinesiology and community health at the Urbana-Champaign campus. The 14 African-American and 18 Caucasian study subjects were matched for body mass index, cardiovascular fitness and age. None had previously been trained in endurance or resistance exercise.

African-Americans are known to have higher rates of cardiovascular disease than Caucasians, Fernhall said. In particular, "hypertension, stroke and kidney disease are much, much higher in the African-American population," he said.

Some of these problems start young.

"Higher blood pressures in African-American children have been shown as young as 8 to 10 years of age," Fernhall said. "So there's obviously something going on that predisposes the African-American population to end stage disease, hypertension and stroke and the more debilitating diseases later on in life."

A previous study led by Fernhall and his doctoral student Kevin Heffernan (an author on the new paper as well) found that resistance training reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood of African-American, but not Caucasian, men. This protein is a reliable marker of systemic inflammation. Levels of CRP rise after injury or infection, and chronically elevated levels are sometimes associated with heart disease and cancer.

The new study looked at other markers that could signal trouble in the arteries: MMPs, which help remodel blood vessels after injury or infection; and 8-isoprostane, a marker of oxidative stress involving chemically charged ions or molecules called reactive oxygen species. Both markers went down in the African-Americans, but not the Caucasians, after resistance training. The researchers were surprised to see that initial levels of MMP-9 were lower in African-Americans before the weight training.

"It may be that MMP-9 has a different effect on the vasculature of African-Americans than it does on Caucasians," said Illinois doctoral student Marc Cook, who conducted the new analysis. "We don't know."

The decrease in MMP-9 was significantly correlated with the increase in muscle strength in the African-American men, Cook said. He sees the reduction in MMP-9s and 8-isoprostane as a positive outcome in the African-American men.

Previous studies showed that "aerobic exercise actually reduces oxidative stress, and reduces iosprostane," Cook said. "But nobody had a clue about resistance training."

Cook said he now knows what to say to African-American men who ask him why they should exercise.

"If you don't like cardiovascular exercise, if you don't like running on a treadmill, if you can't play basketball or you're not good at it, you can lift weights and improve your health, especially when it comes to high blood pressure, which happens to run in our family," he said. "If you just want to lift weights and you do it on a regular basis, you could improve your function."

"The overall goal of our departmental research here at the U. of I. is to explore the use of exercise as adjunct therapy for disease, while providing a public health message and evidence about how exercise is beneficial, even at an early age," said Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Jeffrey Woods, a co-author on the study.

This work was partially funded through the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M D Cook, K S Heffernan, S Ranadive, J A Woods, B Fernhall. Effect of resistance training on biomarkers of vascular function and oxidative stress in young African-American and Caucasian men. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/jhh.2012.48

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Strength training improves vascular function in young black men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121221123506.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2012, December 21). Strength training improves vascular function in young black men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121221123506.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Strength training improves vascular function in young black men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121221123506.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins