Resistance training, protein supplementation and cardiovascular disease risk reduction
DeNysschen, Carol Ann
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Individuals at risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) can reduce risk factors through diet and exercise before resorting to drug treatment. Regular exercise can reduce many risk factors associated with CVD, primarily lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and body fat mass, while raising high density lipoproteins. Ingesting vegetable versus animal protein has also been shown to have beneficial effects on various risk factors. The effect of a combination of resistance exercise training with vegetable-based (soy) versus animal-based (whey) protein supplementation on CVD risk reduction has received little study. Purpose. To study the effects of 12 weeks of resistance exercise training with soy versus whey protein supplementation on changes in strength, body composition, serum lipid levels, C-reactive protein (inflammatory biomarker), and human serum paraoxonase (HDL-associated antioxidant enzyme) in overweight, hypercholesterolemic men. Methods. Twenty-eight overweight male subjects (BMI 25-30) from the community with serum cholesterol >200 mg/dl were randomly divided into 3 groups: resistance training + carbohydrate supplement as placebo (n=9); resistance training + soy supplementation (n=9); and resistance training + whey supplementation (n=10). Results. After twelve weeks of resistance exercise training all 3 groups had significant gains in strength averaging 47% in all major muscle groups, with no difference among groups. Serum cholesterol, waist-to-hip ratio and percent body fat decreased significantly in all 3 groups an average of 6%, 2%, and 8% respectively, again with no difference between groups. Twelve weeks of resistance exercise training brought about no significant change in hs-C-reactive protein and no effect between groups. Human serum paraoxonase, as measured by arylesterase activity, did not differ significantly before versus after twelve weeks of resistance exercise training or between groups. Conclusions. Participation in a 12 week resistance exercise training program significantly increased strength and decreased CVD risk factors in overweight, hypercholesterolemic men with no added benefit of protein supplementation.