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Eating almonds daily boosts exercise recovery molecule by 69% among ‘Weekend Wars’

Eating almonds daily boosts exercise recovery molecule by 69% among ‘Weekend Wars’

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Summary: Adding 57 g of almonds to the diet every day for a month increased levels of the beneficial fat 12,13-DiHOME in blood samples immediately after a session of intense exercise.

source: Borders

For those who exercise regularly, eating almonds every day may be the perfect New Year’s resolution.

A randomized controlled trial in Limits in nutrition showed that female and male participants who ate 57 g of almonds daily for one month had more of the beneficial fat 12,13-dihydroxy-9Z-octadecenoic acid (12,13-DiHOME) in their blood immediately after a session of intensive exercise than control participants.

This molecule, so-called oxylipin (oxidized fat) is synthesized from linoleic acid from brown adipose tissue and has a beneficial effect on metabolic health and energy regulation.

Correspondent Dr. David K. Niemann, professor and director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University’s North Carolina Research Campus, said: “We show here that volunteers who consumed 57 g of almonds daily for one month before a “weekend warrior” training match had more beneficial 12,13-DiHOME in their blood immediately after training than control volunteers. They also reported feeling less fatigue and tension, better leg and back strength, and reduced muscle damage after exercise compared to control volunteers.

A four-week nutritional supplement with almonds

The clinical trial included 38 men and 26 women between the ages of 30 and 65 who did not regularly exercise with weights. About half were randomized to the almond diet group and the other half to a control group that ate a calorie-matched cereal bar daily. The researchers took blood and urine samples before and after the four-week supplementation period.

Performance measures included a 30-second anaerobic Wingate test, a 50-meter shuttle run test, and vertical jump, bench press, and back strength exercises. Additional blood and urine samples were taken immediately after this 90-minute session of “eccentric exercise” and daily for four days thereafter.

After each blood draw, participants completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire to quantify their mental state and rated their delayed onset muscle soreness—that is, pain and stiffness felt after unusual or strenuous exercise—on a 10- interval scale.

As expected, the 90-minute exercise resulted in an increase in the volunteers’ self-reported sense of muscle damage and muscle soreness, as well as an increased POMS score, indicating self-reported decreased vitality and increased fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

As expected, the 90-minute exercise resulted in an increase in the volunteers’ self-reported sense of muscle damage and muscle soreness, as well as an increased POMS score, indicating self-reported decreased vitality and increased fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Image is in the public domain

Exercise also led to transiently increased blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and MCP-1, consistent with minor muscle damage. However, these cytokine changes were the same in the almond and cereal bar groups.

Differences in two concentrations of DiHOME

Importantly, immediately after exercise, the concentration of the beneficial 12,13-DiHOME was 69% higher in the blood plasma of participants in the almond group than in participants in the control group. 12,13-DiHOME is known to increase fatty acid transport and uptake by skeletal muscle, with the overall effect of stimulating metabolic recovery after exercise.

The opposite pattern was found for another oxylipin, the mildly toxic 9,10-dihydroxy-12-octadecenoic acid (9,10-diHOME), which was 40% higher immediately after exercise in the blood of the control group than in the almond group . Unlike 12,13-DiHOME, 9,10-diHOME has been shown to have negative effects on the body’s overall health and recovery from exercise.

The polyphenols in almond skin may be key

Niemann and colleagues concluded that daily consumption of almonds led to a change in metabolism, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress from exercise and allowing the body to recover more quickly.

“We conclude that almonds provide a unique and complex blend of nutrients and polyphenols that may support metabolic recovery after stressful levels of exercise.” Almonds have high amounts of protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, minerals and fiber. And the brown skin of almonds contains polyphenols that enter the colon and help control inflammation and oxidative stress,” Niemann said.

The authors declare that the study was conducted with no commercial or financial relationships that could be interpreted as a potential conflict of interest.

Financing: Funded by Almond Board of California, Modesto, CA. The funder had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, manuscript preparation or the decision to submit the article for publication

About this diet and exercise research news

Author: Misha Dijkstra
source: Borders
Contact: Misha Dijkstra – Borders
Image: Image is in the public domain

See also

Eating almonds daily boosts exercise recovery molecule by 69% among ‘Weekend Wars’

Original Research: Free access.
Almond intake alters the acute response of plasma dihydroxy-octadecenoic acid (DiHOME) to eccentric exercise” by David Nieman et al. Limits in nutrition


Summary

Almond intake alters the acute response of plasma dihydroxy-octadecenoic acid (DiHOME) to eccentric exercise

This study determined whether a 4-week intake of nutrient-rich almonds mitigated post-exercise inflammation and muscle soreness and damage. An acute 90-min bout of eccentric exercise (90-EE) was used to induce muscle damage in 64 non-obese adults who did not participate in regular resistance training (aged 30-65 years, BMI <30 kg/m2).

Using a parallel-group design, participants were randomized to almond (AL) (57 g/day) or cereal block (CB) (calorie-matched) treatment groups for a 4-week period prior to 90-EE (17 exercises).

Blood and 24-h urine samples were collected before and after supplementation, with additional blood samples collected immediately after 90-EE and then daily during 4 additional days of recovery. Changes in plasma oxylipins, urinary gut-derived phenolics, plasma cytokines, biomarkers of muscle damage, mood states, and exercise performance were assessed.

The 90-EE protocol causes significant muscle damage, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), inflammation, reduced strength and power, and mood disturbance. Interaction effects (2 groups x 7 time points) supported that AL vs. CB was associated with reduced postexercise fatigue and strain (p=0.051, 0.033, respectively) and higher levels of leg and back strength (p=0.029 ). No group differences were found for increases in DOMS and six cytokines after 90-EE. AL was associated with lower serum creatine kinase levels immediately and 1 day after exercise (p=0.034 and 0.013, respectively).

A 90-EE bout increased plasma levels immediately after exercise for 13 oxylipins. Interaction effects revealed significantly higher levels for AL relative to CB for 12,13-DiHOME (p<0.001) and lower levels for 9,10-DiHOME (p<0.001). Urinary levels increased in AL relative to CB for seven gut-derived phenols, including 5-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone, which was inversely related to changes in plasma 9,10-DiHOME (r= -0.029, p =0.021).

These data support some positive effects of almond intake in improving mood, preserving strength, reducing muscle damage, increasing the generation of gut-derived phenolic metabolites, and altering plasma oxylipin DiHOME response to abnormal eccentric exercise in untrained adults .

Increased post-exercise plasma levels of 12,13-DiHOME with almond intake support positive metabolic outcomes for adults participating in unusual eccentric exercise.


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