Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight

Date:
October 9, 2013
Source:
American Physiological Society (APS)
Summary:
New findings suggest that maintaining a “healthy” weight isn’t as important for healthy cholesterol function as being active by regularly performing strength training.

Bethesda, Md. (Oct. 9, 2013)—There’s no question that high levels of good cholesterol—also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—seem to be protective against heart disease. Rather than depositing fat into the blood vessels the way the “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL)) does, HDL appears to carry cholesterol away from blood vessels to the liver. From there, the liver processes it for removal from the body.

However, adequate levels of HDL might not be enough. Several recent studies have suggested that many cases of heart disease occur in people with normal levels of HDL cholesterol. Consequently, some researchers believe that even if people have adequate amounts of HDL cholesterol, it might not work well. Such HDL may not fulfill this molecule’s other important duties in the body, such as reducing inflammation and acting as an antioxidant.

Because exercise has the potential to protect against heart disease in a variety of ways, Christian K. Roberts and his colleagues at UCLA tested whether HDL in men who weight trained regularly behaved in a healthier way than HDL in sedentary men. They found that the men who didn’t exercise were more likely than those who weight trained to have dysfunctional HDL. Having faulty HDL was associated with numerous other risk factors for heart disease, including high triglycerides and a higher trunk fat mass. This finding held true regardless of the men’s weight, which suggests that maintaining a “healthy” weight isn’t as important for healthy cholesterol function as being active by regularly performing strength training.

The article is entitled “Untrained Young Men Have Dysfunctional HDL Compared to Strength Trained Men Irrespective of Body Weight Status.” It appears in the Articles in PresS section of Journal of Applied Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society.

Methodology
The researchers worked with 90 men between the ages of 18 and 30 who already had established exercise habits. They separated these participants into three groups: lean men who weight trained at least four times each week, overweight men who also weight trained at least four times each week, and overweight men who had no structured exercise regimen. The researchers took some basic physical measurements from the volunteers, including height and weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, and body composition. They tested the volunteers’ muscle strength and their carotid artery thickness (a sign of heart disease), and they took a blood sample. The researchers analyzed that sample for a variety of different molecules present, including cholesterol, insulin, various markers for heart disease including triglycerides and C-reactive protein, and sex hormones. They also checked the volunteers’ HDL to see how well it functioned as an antioxidant, a sign of how well their HDL works in general.

Results
The study authors found that HDL functioned better in the participants who had a regular weight-lifting program, regardless of their weight—overweight exercisers’ HDL has similar effectiveness as an antioxidant as the lean exercisers’ HDL cholesterol. Both groups’ HDL performed significantly better than those who didn’t exercise. Such dysfunctional HDL was associated with numerous other factors associated with heart disease, such as elevated triglycerides and trunk fat mass.

Importance of the Findings
These findings suggest that regular weight training might improve HDL function and protect against heart disease, even in those who remain overweight. Although indices of weight were associated with HDL cholesterol function, differences in fitness, the authors say, may be a better measure of who has healthier functioning HDL cholesterol, and therefore, who is at risk of heart disease.

“The role of obesity in the risk of coronary heart disease may indeed be largely accounted for by differences in fitness,” the authors say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society (APS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christian K. Roberts, Michael Katiraie, Daniel M. Croymans, Otto O. Yangand, Theodoros Kelesidis. Untrained Young Men Have Dysfunctional HDL Compared to Strength Trained Men 4 Irrespective of Body Weight Status. Journal of Applied Physiology, October 2013

Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society (APS). "When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009125738.htm>.
American Physiological Society (APS). (2013, October 9). When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009125738.htm
American Physiological Society (APS). "When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009125738.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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