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Lipid Metabolism Links Nutrient-Exercise Timing to Insulin Sensitivity in Men Classified as Overweight or Obese

Edinburgh, Robert M and Bradley, Helen E and Abdullah, Nurul-Fadhilah and Robinson, Scott L and Chrzanowski-Smith, Oliver J and Walhin, Jean-Philippe and Joanisse, Sophie and Manolopoulos, Konstantinos N and Philp, Andrew and Hengist, Aaron and Chabowski, Adrian and Brodsky, Frances M and Koumanov, Francoise and Betts, James A and Thompson, Dylan and Wallis, Gareth A and Gonzalez, Javier T (2019) Lipid Metabolism Links Nutrient-Exercise Timing to Insulin Sensitivity in Men Classified as Overweight or Obese. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 105 (3). pp. 660-676. ISSN 0021-972X

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Abstract

Context Pre-exercise nutrient availability alters acute metabolic responses to exercise, which could modulate training responsiveness. Objective To assess acute and chronic effects of exercise performed before versus after nutrient ingestion on whole-body and intramuscular lipid utilization and postprandial glucose metabolism. Design (1) Acute, randomized, crossover design (Acute Study); (2) 6-week, randomized, controlled design (Training Study). Setting General community. Participants Men with overweight/obesity (mean ± standard deviation, body mass index: 30.2 ± 3.5 kg⋅m-2 for Acute Study, 30.9 ± 4.5 kg⋅m-2 for Training Study). Interventions Moderate-intensity cycling performed before versus after mixed-macronutrient breakfast (Acute Study) or carbohydrate (Training Study) ingestion. Results Acute Study—exercise before versus after breakfast consumption increased net intramuscular lipid utilization in type I (net change: –3.44 ± 2.63% versus 1.44 ± 4.18% area lipid staining, P < 0.01) and type II fibers (–1.89 ± 2.48% versus 1.83 ± 1.92% area lipid staining, P < 0.05). Training Study—postprandial glycemia was not differentially affected by 6 weeks of exercise training performed before versus after carbohydrate intake (P > 0.05). However, postprandial insulinemia was reduced with exercise training performed before but not after carbohydrate ingestion (P = 0.03). This resulted in increased oral glucose insulin sensitivity (25 ± 38 vs –21 ± 32 mL⋅min-1⋅m-2; P = 0.01), associated with increased lipid utilization during exercise (r = 0.50, P = 0.02). Regular exercise before nutrient provision also augmented remodeling of skeletal muscle phospholipids and protein content of the glucose transport protein GLUT4 (P < 0.05). Conclusions Experiments investigating exercise training and metabolic health should consider nutrient-exercise timing, and exercise performed before versus after nutrient intake (ie, in the fasted state) may exert beneficial effects on lipid utilization and reduce postprandial insulinemia.

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