Special Issue "Response and Adaptation during Human Exercise: From Physiology, Metabolism and Musculoskeletal Modelling to Understand Functional Disorders"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Qichang Mei
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Auckland Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
2. Faculty of Sports Science, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
Interests: bioengineering (biomedical engineering); exercise physiology; musculoskeletal modeling; gait development and adaptation; mechanobiology; computational modelling; machine learning
Prof. Dr. Yaodong Gu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sports Science, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
Interests: human movement science; sports science; biomechanics; foot and ankle biomechanics
Prof. Dr. Julien S. Baker
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
Interests: cardiovascular disease; obesity; diabetes; immune function; hormonal control; oxidative stress; muscle damage; steroid abuse; exercise biochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Justin Fernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Auckland Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Interests: mechanobiology; biomedical engineering; musculoskeletal modelling; bone remodeling; infant gait; wearable technology; orthopedics and joint implant; muscle mechanics
Dr. Stephen F Burns
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 178957, Singapore
Interests: exercise physiology; cardiovascular disease; obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus; physical activity and well-being

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Exercise represents the various physical activities that enable human bodies to maintain health, fitness and wellbeing, and/or increase athletic performance. From a biological perspective, human response and adaptation to exercise training and sports playing can be observed in relation to physiology, metabolism, and the musculoskeletal system. Several recent studies have reported on the influence of exercise (physical activity, sports playing) on mortality, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and other health-related problems.

With the advancements of multi-disciplinary research, a comprehensive understanding of the response and adaptation as regards human exercise may be beneficial for the improvement of global health and well-being. Knowledge of physiology, metabolism, and musculoskeletal system may be integrated for consideration. Thus, we proposed this Special Issue on the “Response and Adaptation during Human Exercise: Physiology, Metabolism and Musculoskeletal Modeling to Understand Functional Disorders” for the Biology journal. On behalf of the guest editorial team, I would like to invite the submission of all types (including original studies, review studies and technical communications) of studies covering the topics to this Special Issues.  The specific topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Exercise (physical activity) for the prevention of chronic disease;
  • Human skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise (physical activity);
  • Exercise (physical activity) for the prevention of cardio and metabolic diseases;
  • Metabolism and metabolic disorders in the diabetes;
  • Physiological response to acute exercise (physical activity) intervention;
  • Longitudinal adaptation of physiology to exercise training;
  • Response and adaptation in the prolonged sport activities (race walking, marathon, etc.);
  • Musculoskeletal modeling of human gait development;
  • Musculoskeletal modeling of human locomotion disorders;
  • Monitoring the musculoskeletal functions using wearable technology and machine learning;
  • Sports injuries, joint disorders, and muscle damage in the exercise training.

Dr. Qichang Mei
Prof. Dr. Yaodong Gu
Prof. Dr. Julien S. Baker
Dr. Justin Fernandez
Dr. Stephen F Burns
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • bioengineering
  • biological response and adaptation
  • biomechanical modeling
  • chronic diseases
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes
  • exercise training and intervention
  • gait
  • metabolic disorders
  • mechanobiology
  • musculoskeletal disorder
  • prolonged walking (race walking) and running (marathon)
  • skeletal muscle
  • sports injuries
  • wearables and artificial intelligence

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Article
Association between Physical Literacy and Self-Perceived Fitness Level in Children and Adolescents
Biology 2021, 10(12), 1358; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10121358 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Background: Physical fitness is considered a predictor of mortality and comorbidities resulting from physical inactivity in children and adolescents. Physical literacy provides a robust and comprehensive assessment of physical fitness. Thus, it is considered a crucial element for understanding children and adolescents’ health [...] Read more.
Background: Physical fitness is considered a predictor of mortality and comorbidities resulting from physical inactivity in children and adolescents. Physical literacy provides a robust and comprehensive assessment of physical fitness. Thus, it is considered a crucial element for understanding children and adolescents’ health status and their physical activity-related behaviours. Moreover, the self-perceived fitness should also be considered. Therefore, this study aims to analyse the relationship between physical literacy and self-perceived physical fitness in children and adolescents aged 8–12 years. Methods: A single-measure cross-sectional study was conducted with 135 children and adolescents. Anthropometric measurements and the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy Development (CAPL-2) were applied. Descriptive statistics and correlations were calculated. The Fitness Perception Scale for Adolescents (FP VAS A) scale was also administered to assess participants’ self-perceived fitness. Results: Moderate significant correlations were found between “physical competence”, “motivation and confidence”, and the total CAPL-2 score with FP VAS A. Conclusions: The influence of motivation on self-perceived fitness has been demonstrated. Moreover, cardiorespiratory fitness could be considered one of the most relevant and influential factors in the total CAPL-2 score. It means that higher levels of self-perceived fitness would be associated with greater levels of physical literacy. Full article
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Article
Morphological Asymmetries Profile and the Difference between Low- and High-Performing Road Cyclists Using 3D Scanning
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111199 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
The aims of this study are: (1) to identify morphological asymmetries in road cycling by using a novel 3D scanning method and electrical bioimpedance, (2) to investigate possible asymmetries in road cyclists of low (LPG) and high (HPG) performance group, (3) to compare [...] Read more.
The aims of this study are: (1) to identify morphological asymmetries in road cycling by using a novel 3D scanning method and electrical bioimpedance, (2) to investigate possible asymmetries in road cyclists of low (LPG) and high (HPG) performance group, (3) to compare the number of morphological asymmetries between HPG and LPG of cyclists, and (4) to explore correlations between asymmetry scores and competition performance. Body composition and 3D anthropometric measurements were conducted on 48 top-level male road cyclists (178.98 ± 5.39 cm; 68.37 ± 5.31 kg) divided into high (n = 22) and low (n = 26) performance groups. Competition performance (CP) is represented through racing points gathered at the end of the competition season. The latter was used to divide road cyclists into low- and high-performing groups. One-way ANOVA was used to determine differences between groups, while paired-samples T-test and Absolute Asymmetry index (AA) were calculated (p ≤ 0.05) for paired variables inside the groups, and the Spearman correlation coefficient was used to explore correlations between AA and CP. Results showed statistically significant differences between the left and right side of different body segments (16 paired variables) among low-performing road cyclists in five paired variables of the upper body: elbow girth (4.35, p = 0.000), forearm girth (6.31, p = 0.000), arm surface area (2.54, p = 0.018), and arm volume (2.71, p = 0.012); and six paired variables of the lower body: leg lean mass (5.85, p = 0.000), leg length (3.04, p = 0.005), knee girth (4.93, p = 0.000), calf girth (5.25, p = 0.000), leg surface area (4.03, p = 0.000), and leg volume (5.3, p = 0.000). Altogether, the high-performing group of road cyclists statistically differed only in 2 out of 16 paired variables of the upper body: elbow girth (4.93, p = 0.000) and in forearm girth (5.12, p = 0.000). Low- and high-performing groups were statistically significantly different in the asymmetry of leg lean mass F(1,46) = 6.25, p = 0.016 and asymmetry of the calf girth F(1,46) = 7.44, p = 0.009. AA of calf girth on the total sample (n = 48) showed a significant correlation with CP (r = −0.461; p = 0.001). In conclusion, the study’s main finding was that high-performance road cyclists are more symmetrical than the low-performance group, for which it is significant to have a higher amount of morphological asymmetries. Full article
Article
Novice Female Exercisers Exhibited Different Biomechanical Loading Profiles during Full-Squat and Half-Squat Practice
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111184 - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Background: Females with different practice experience may show different body postures and movement patterns while squatting in different depths, which may lead to changes of biomechanical loadings and increase the risks of injuries. Methods: Sixteen novice female participants without squat training experience participated [...] Read more.
Background: Females with different practice experience may show different body postures and movement patterns while squatting in different depths, which may lead to changes of biomechanical loadings and increase the risks of injuries. Methods: Sixteen novice female participants without squat training experience participated in this study. A 3D motion capture system was used to collect the marker trajectory and ground reaction force data during bodyweight squatting in different depths. The participants’ kinematic data and joint moment were calculated using OpenSim’s inverse kinematics and inverse dynamics algorithm. In this study, authors adapted a model especially developed for squatting and customized the knee joint with extra Degree-of-Freedom (DoF) in the coronal and horizontal plane with adduction/abduction and internal/external rotation. A paired-sample t-test was used to analyze the difference of joint range of motions (ROM) and peak moments between full-squat (F-SQ) and half-squat (H-SQ). One-Dimensional Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM1D) is used to analyze the difference of joint angle and moment between the process of squatting F-SQ and H-SQ. Results: (1) Compared with H-SQ, F-SQ showed larger ROM in sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes (p < 0.05). (2) SPM1D found that the difference in joint angles and joint moments between F-SQ and H-SQ was mainly concentrated in the mid-stance during squatting, which suggested the difference is greatly pronounced during deeper squat. (3) Peak hip extension moment, knee extension moment, hip adduction moment, and plantar flexion moment of F-SQ were significantly higher than H-SQ (p < 0.05). (4) Difference of hip and knee extension moments and rotation moments between the F-SQ and H-SQ were exhibited during descending and ascending. Conclusions: The study found that novice women had larger range of joint motion during the F-SQ than H-SQ group, and knee valgus was observed during squatting to the deepest point. Greater joint moment was found during F-SQ and reached a peak during ascending after squatting to the deepest point. Novice women may have better movement control during H-SQ. The findings may provide implications for the selection of lower limb strength training programs, assist the scientific development of training movements, and provide reference for squat movement correction, thus reducing the risk of injury for novice women in squatting practice. Full article
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Article
Biochemical Response to Freezing in the Siberian Salamander Salamandrella keyserlingii
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111172 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 449
Abstract
The Siberian salamander Salamandrella keyserlingii Dybowski, 1870 is a unique amphibian that is capable to survive long-term freezing at −55 °C. Nothing is known on the biochemical basis of this remarkable freezing tolerance, except for the fact that it uses glycerol as a [...] Read more.
The Siberian salamander Salamandrella keyserlingii Dybowski, 1870 is a unique amphibian that is capable to survive long-term freezing at −55 °C. Nothing is known on the biochemical basis of this remarkable freezing tolerance, except for the fact that it uses glycerol as a low molecular weight cryoprotectant. We used 1H-NMR analysis to study quantitative changes of multiple metabolites in liver and hindlimb muscle of S. keyserlingii in response to freezing. For the majority of molecules we observed significant changes in concentrations. Glycerol content in frozen organs was as high as 2% w/w, which confirms its role as a cryoprotectant. No other putative cryoprotectants were detected. Freezing resulted in ischemia manifested as increased concentrations of glycolysis products: lactate and alanine. Unexpectedly, we detected no increase in concentrations of succinate, which accumulates under ischemia in various tetrapods. Freezing proved to be a dramatic stress with reduced adenosine phosphate pool and high levels of nucleotide degradation products (hypoxanthine, β-alanine, and β-aminoisobutyrate). There was also significant increase in the concentrations of choline and glycerophosphocholine, which may be interpreted as the degradation of biomembranes. Thus, we found that freezing results not only in macroscopical damage due to ice formation, but also to degradation of DNA and biomembranes. Full article
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Article
Haematological, Biochemical and Hormonal Biomarkers of Heat Intolerance in Military Personnel
Biology 2021, 10(10), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10101068 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Heat intolerance is the inability to withstand heat stress and this may occur due to exertional heat stroke (EHS). However, it is unknown if heat intolerance is associated with immune and hormonal disturbances. This study investigates haematological, biochemical and hormonal biomarkers related to [...] Read more.
Heat intolerance is the inability to withstand heat stress and this may occur due to exertional heat stroke (EHS). However, it is unknown if heat intolerance is associated with immune and hormonal disturbances. This study investigates haematological, biochemical and hormonal biomarkers related to heat intolerance and EHS in military and civilian volunteers. A quasi-experimental pre-and post-test design was used, with participants drawn from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the general populace. Blood samples were collected and analysed for biomarkers. Inferential statistics compared the biomarkers between the groups. Changes in alanine amino transaminase (p = 0.034), creatine kinase (0.044), cortisol (p = 0.041) and creatinine (p < 0.001) differed between the heat-intolerant and heat-tolerant groups. Participants with a history of EHS showed significant changes in creatinine (p = 0.022) and urea (p = 0.0031) compared to those without EHS history. Predictors of heat intolerance were increasing post-HTT creatinine and cortisol (OR = 1.177, p = 0.011 and OR = 1.015, p = 0.003 respectively). Conclusively, EHS history is associated with changes in creatinine and urea concentrations, while the predictors of heat intolerance are creatinine and cortisol. However, further exploration of other biomarkers, such as genetic polymorphism, is needed. Full article
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Article
Mediating Roles of hsCRP, TNF-α and Adiponectin on the Associations between Body Fat and Fatty Liver Disease among Overweight and Obese Adults
Biology 2021, 10(9), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090895 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Body fat has been reported to be associated with a higher risk of fatty liver disease (FLD). However, few studies have explored the mediating roles of an inflammatory biomarker or adipokine on the relationships. Here, we examined the potential mediating roles of high [...] Read more.
Body fat has been reported to be associated with a higher risk of fatty liver disease (FLD). However, few studies have explored the mediating roles of an inflammatory biomarker or adipokine on the relationships. Here, we examined the potential mediating roles of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and adiponectin (APN) in relationships between body fat and FLD in overweight and obese adults. Additionally, gender differences will be investigated. In total, 1221 participants aged 19–56 years were included in our study. Body fat percentage was measured with Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) and FLD by abdominal ultrasound. Mediation analysis was performed to assess the mediating effect of hsCRP, TNF-α and APN on the associations between BF (%) and FLD by gender differences. We found that hsCRP was significantly associated with body fat percentage in both genders (b = 0.2014, p < 0.0001 and b = 0.1804, p < 0.0001 for male and female, respectively), while hsCRP was associated with FLD only in the female group (b = 0.1609, p = 0.0109) but not in male group (b = 0.4800, p = 0.0603). We observed that hsCRP has a significant mediating effect on the association between body fat percentage and FLD (b = 0.0290, p = 0.0201, mediation ratio: 13.6%) in the female group independent of potential covariates (age, smoking, alcohol drinking and physical activity). TNF-α was not significantly associated with body fat percentage or FLD, with no mediating effect on the association between body fat percentage and FLD in either gender. In conclusion, there is a gender-specific mediation role of hsCRP in the association between body fat and FLD. HsCRP was a potential mediator on the association between adiposity and FLD in the female gender, but not in the male gender. Higher body fat was associated with a higher risk of FLD, and the inflammation level might play a potential mediating role in the association between body fat and FLD among female overweight and obese adults. Full article
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Article
Effect of Cryotherapy Temperature on the Extension Performance of Healthy Adults’ Legs
Biology 2021, 10(7), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10070591 - 26 Jun 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Cryotherapy as a measurement of sports recovery and treatment has been utilized by more and more athletes and coaches. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different temperature cryotherapies on leg extension performance. Thirty-one male participants from a University [...] Read more.
Cryotherapy as a measurement of sports recovery and treatment has been utilized by more and more athletes and coaches. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different temperature cryotherapies on leg extension performance. Thirty-one male participants from a University volunteered to join two different temperature cryotherapies. The peak power and peak force of right leg extension performance of each participant was measured by Keiser, before and after cryotherapy, respectively. The results of this study show that there was a significant difference in peak power (t = −3.203, p value = 0.003) and peak force (t = −4.662, p value = 0) before and after 0 °C cryotherapy. In addition, there was a significant difference in peak force (t = −4.36, p value = 0) before and after −5 °C cryotherapy. Besides, the changing rates of peak power (3.03%) and peak force (11.51%) in the 0 °C group were higher than those of peak power (2.80%), as well as peak force (7.45%), in the −5 °C group. The PF in the 0 °C and −5 °C groups both significantly increased after cryotherapy. Peak power significantly increased after 0 °C cryotherapy, but did not significantly increase after −5 °C cryotherapy. The changing rates of peak power and peak force in the 0 °C group were both higher than the −5 °C group. A short period of cold treatment at 0 °C may increase the leg extension ability. A 0 °C cold therapy for a short period of time is more suitable than a −5 °C one for athletes to recover during the interval within a competition. Athlete and coach could choose an appropriate temperature to help increase performance of physical level and recovery. Full article
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Review

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Review
Exercise Effects on the Biomechanical Properties of the Achilles Tendon—A Narrative Review
Biology 2022, 11(2), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020172 - 21 Jan 2022
Viewed by 111
Abstract
The morphological and mechanical properties (e.g., stiffness, stress, and force) of the Achilles tendon (AT) are generally associated with its tendinosis and ruptures, particularly amongst runners. Interest in potential approaches to reduce or prevent the risk of AT injuries has grown exponentially as [...] Read more.
The morphological and mechanical properties (e.g., stiffness, stress, and force) of the Achilles tendon (AT) are generally associated with its tendinosis and ruptures, particularly amongst runners. Interest in potential approaches to reduce or prevent the risk of AT injuries has grown exponentially as tendon mechanics have been efficiently improving. The following review aims to discuss the effect of different types of exercise on the AT properties. In this review article, we review literature showing the possibility to influence the mechanical properties of the AT from the perspective of acute exercise and long-term training interventions, and we discuss the reasons for inconsistent results. Finally, we review the role of the habitual state in the AT properties. The findings of the included studies suggest that physical exercise could efficiently improve the AT mechanical properties. In particular, relatively long-term and low-intensity eccentric training may be a useful adjunct to enhance the mechanical loading of the AT. Full article
Review
Effect of Exercise on Secondary Sarcopenia: A Comprehensive Literature Review
Biology 2022, 11(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010051 - 30 Dec 2021
Viewed by 193
Abstract
Background: Sarcopenia has been recognized as an inevitable part of aging. However, its severity and the age at which it begins cannot be predicted by age alone. The condition can be categorized into primary or age-related sarcopenia and secondary sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is diagnosed [...] Read more.
Background: Sarcopenia has been recognized as an inevitable part of aging. However, its severity and the age at which it begins cannot be predicted by age alone. The condition can be categorized into primary or age-related sarcopenia and secondary sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is diagnosed as primary when there are no other specific causes. However, secondary sarcopenia occurs if other factors, including malignancy or organ failure, are evident in addition to aging. The prevalence of secondary sarcopenia is far greater than that of primary sarcopenia and requires special attention. To date, nutrition and exercise have proven to be the best methods to combat this disease. The impact of exercise on subjects suffering from sarcopenia with a specific morbidity is worthy of examination for understanding and prevention. The purpose of this review, therefore, is to summarize recent research that has investigated the impact of exercise in patients with secondary sarcopenia, specifically with one comorbidity. Methods: Pubmed, Web of Science, Embase and Medline databases were searched comprehensively with no date limit for randomized controlled trials. The literature was specifically searched for clinical trials in which subjects were sarcopenic with only one comorbidity participating in an exercise intervention. The most visible comorbidities identified and used in the search were lung disease, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, neurological diseases, osteoporosis and arthritis. Results: A total of 1752 studies were identified that matched the keywords. After removing duplicates, there were 1317 articles remaining. We extracted 98 articles for full screening. Finally, we included 21 relevant papers that were used in this review. Conclusion: Despite a strong rationale for using exercise to improve muscle mass, quality or physical function in subjects with cancer, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease and many more, baseline sarcopenia evaluation has been reported in very few trials. The limited number of studies does not allow us to conclude that exercise can improve sarcopenia in patients with other comorbidities. This review highlights the necessity for wide-ranging research initiatives involving secondary sarcopenic patients. Full article
Review
A Systematic Review of the Effects of Caffeine on Basketball Performance Outcomes
Biology 2022, 11(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010017 - 23 Dec 2021
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Caffeine is an ergogenic aid in many sports, including basketball. This systematic review examines the effects of caffeine on basketball-related skill tasks along with physical aspects of performance deemed important for the game. A systematic search was conducted across three databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus [...] Read more.
Caffeine is an ergogenic aid in many sports, including basketball. This systematic review examines the effects of caffeine on basketball-related skill tasks along with physical aspects of performance deemed important for the game. A systematic search was conducted across three databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science) to identify randomized-controlled trials which examined the effect of caffeine on basketball performance outcomes including: free-throw, 3-point shooting accuracy, dribbling speed, vertical jump height, and linear and repeated sprints. Forty-six articles were identified of which 10 met the inclusion criteria. Improvements in vertical jump were identified in four of five studies, agility in two of four studies, and in linear and repeated sprints in two of three studies. No deterioration in basketball skills performance was observed in any studies. It is suggested that caffeine is useful for basketball players to improve the physical aspects of their game-play performance but there is little evidence of any change in skill-based performance at present. Further research should clarify the effects of caffeine on basketball performance in women and the role of individual genetic variation on caffeine metabolism. Basketball players and coaches should be aware of the properties of caffeine before ingesting it as an ergogenic supplement. Full article
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Review
A Multifactorial Approach for Sarcopenia Assessment: A Literature Review
Biology 2021, 10(12), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10121354 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Sarcopenia refers to a progressive and generalized weakness of skeletal muscle as individuals age. Sarcopenia usually occurs after the age of 60 years and is associated with a persistent decline in muscle strength, function, and quality. A comparison of the risk factors associated [...] Read more.
Sarcopenia refers to a progressive and generalized weakness of skeletal muscle as individuals age. Sarcopenia usually occurs after the age of 60 years and is associated with a persistent decline in muscle strength, function, and quality. A comparison of the risk factors associated with sarcopenia based on the European Working Group on Sarcopenia (1 and 2) in Older People, the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (1 and 2), the International Working Group on Sarcopenia, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health revealed no consistent patterns. Accordingly, the identification of a single risk factor for sarcopenia is unpredictable due to its “multifactorial” pathogenesis, with the involvement of a multitude of factors. Therefore, the first aim of this review was to outline and propose that the multiple factors associated with sarcopenia need to be considered in combination in the design of new experimentation in this area. A secondary aim was to highlight the biochemical risk factors that are already identified in subjects with sarcopenia to assist scientists in understanding the biology of the pathophysiological mechanisms affecting the old people with sarcopenia. We also briefly discuss primary outcomes (physical) and secondary outcomes (social and financial) of sarcopenia. For future investigative purposes, this comprehensive review may be useful in considering important risk factors in the utilization of a panel of biomarkers emanating from all pathways involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. This may help to establish a uniform consensus for screening and defining this disease. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact may be exacerbated in older populations, which requires immediate attention. Here, we briefly suggest strategies for advancing the development of smart technologies to deliver exercise in the COVID-19 era in an attempt regress the onset of sarcopenia. These strategies may also have an impact on sarcopenia’s primary and secondary outcomes. Full article
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Review
Effects of High Intensity Exercise on Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Status in Untrained Humans: A Systematic Review
Biology 2021, 10(12), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10121272 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 491
Abstract
Participation in exercise promotes health. High intensity exercise (HIE) has become increasingly popular among the general population, however, its effects on exercise-induced oxidative stress and antioxidant status in untrained humans is not clear. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the [...] Read more.
Participation in exercise promotes health. High intensity exercise (HIE) has become increasingly popular among the general population, however, its effects on exercise-induced oxidative stress and antioxidant status in untrained humans is not clear. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the influence of HIE on oxidative stress and antioxidant status in untrained humans. Web of Science, PubMed, MEDLINE, and Scopus were searched until March 2021. A methodological quality assessment valuation/estimation was additionally carried out in the final sample of studies. Following the PRISMA selection process, 21 studies were finally included. There was strong evidence that acute oxidative stress following the cessation of HIE exists when compared to resting states. The HIE-induced oxidative stress is transient and is most likely restored to normal levels within 24 h due to the stimulated endogenous antioxidant system whose response was lagging and lasting. Physically active humans had better antioxidant systems and suffered less oxidative stress after HIE. A physically active lifestyle was considered to enhance antioxidant capacity. For untrained humans, HIE with intensities above 70% VO2max are proposed for initial exercise levels based on the findings reported here. Full article
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Review
The Theoretical Framework of the Clinical Pilates Exercise Method in Managing Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111096 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Exercise plays an important role in rehabilitating people with chronic low back pain. Aerobic exercise and resistance training are general exercise strategies to manage chronic low back pain, but these strategies require longer intervention period to achieve clinical outcomes in pain reduction and [...] Read more.
Exercise plays an important role in rehabilitating people with chronic low back pain. Aerobic exercise and resistance training are general exercise strategies to manage chronic low back pain, but these strategies require longer intervention period to achieve clinical outcomes in pain reduction and functional improvements. Directional preference is recognised as an important exercise strategy in managing low back pain. The Clinical Pilates exercise method leverages on the directional preference of an individual to achieve clinical outcomes faster. Clinical Pilates is a hybrid of two of the best exercise interventions for low back pain, which are general Pilates and the McKenzie method. Due to the scarcity of Clinical Pilates literature, a review of its theory and studies was undertaken to provide a structured guide to the technique in managing people with chronic low back pain. Hypothetical algorithms are developed to support translation into clinical practice and future research studies. These algorithms are useful in the management of complex cases involving multiple directional trauma. Although limited, current evidence suggests that the Clinical Pilates exercise method is safe and provides faster functional recovery in the early stage of rehabilitation and similar longer term outcomes as general exercises. Full article
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Review
Acute and Chronic Effects of Interval Training on the Immune System: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Biology 2021, 10(9), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090868 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Purpose: To summarize the evidence regarding the acute and chronic effects of interval training (IT) in the immune system through a systematic review with meta-analysis. Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Data source: English, Portuguese and Spanish languages search of the electronic databases Pubmed/Medline, [...] Read more.
Purpose: To summarize the evidence regarding the acute and chronic effects of interval training (IT) in the immune system through a systematic review with meta-analysis. Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Data source: English, Portuguese and Spanish languages search of the electronic databases Pubmed/Medline, Scopus, and SciELO. Eligibility criteria: Studies such as clinical trials, randomized cross-over trials and randomized clinical trials, investigating the acute and chronic effects of IT on the immune outcomes in humans. Results: Of the 175 studies retrieved, 35 were included in the qualitative analysis and 18 in a meta-analysis. Within-group analysis detected significant acute decrease after IT on immunoglobulin A (IgA) secretory rate (n = 115; MD = −15.46 µg·min−1; 95%CI, −28.3 to 2.66; p = 0.02), total leucocyte count increase (n = 137; MD = 2.58 × 103 µL−1; 95%CI, 1.79 to 3.38; p < 0.001), increase in lymphocyte count immediately after exercise (n = 125; MD = 1.3 × 103 µL−1; 95%CI, 0.86 to 1.75; p < 0.001), and decrease during recovery (30 to 180 min post-exercise) (n = 125; MD = −0.36 × 103 µL−1;−0.57 to −0.15; p < 0.001). No effect was detected on absolute IgA (n = 127; MD = 47.5 µg·mL−1; 95%CI, −10.6 to 105.6; p = 0.11). Overall, IT might acutely reduce leucocyte function. Regarding chronic effects IT improved immune function without change leucocyte count. Conclusion: IT might provide a transient disturbance on the immune system, followed by reduced immune function. However, regular IT performance induces favorable adaptations on immune function. Full article
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Brief Report
Obesity: Treatments, Conceptualizations, and Future Directions for a Growing Problem
Biology 2022, 11(2), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020160 - 19 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Interventions in obesity management include nutritional selection, diet restriction, and physical exercise, followed by cognitive behavioral strategies, pharmacology, and surgery towards the tapered treatment end of the obesity pyramid of interventions. Calorie restriction, regular exercise, and several weight reducing drugs, including probiotic and [...] Read more.
Interventions in obesity management include nutritional selection, diet restriction, and physical exercise, followed by cognitive behavioral strategies, pharmacology, and surgery towards the tapered treatment end of the obesity pyramid of interventions. Calorie restriction, regular exercise, and several weight reducing drugs, including probiotic and prebiotic use, are increasing in the market as potential anti-obesity treatments all over the world. Despite these efforts, obesity is increasing and is at epidemic levels. We propose here that there should be a multicomponent individual specific treatment approach for treating this multifactorial pathogenesis, incorporating psychological assessment as a first step that may help to reduce the prevalence of this alarming epidemic. We also believe that focusing on psychological screening may not be enough to control this epidemic without government and community cooperation and intervention. Additionally, we suggest that it is imperative to take advantage of the developments in web-based counseling and artificial intelligence expansion in combination with available anti-obesity treatments to make treatments feasible, accessible, and cost-effective for populations of all ages. The purpose of this paper is to increase awareness and stimulate debate in relation to this growing problem. Full article
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Systematic Review
Prevalence of Hyperhomocysteinemia in China: An Updated Meta-Analysis
Biology 2021, 10(10), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10100959 - 26 Sep 2021
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Abstract
We conducted a meta-analysis to systematically assess the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) in China, its change over time, and its determinants. Literature searches were conducted using English databases (PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science) and Chinese databases (CNKI, CBM, VIP, and Wanfang). The [...] Read more.
We conducted a meta-analysis to systematically assess the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) in China, its change over time, and its determinants. Literature searches were conducted using English databases (PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science) and Chinese databases (CNKI, CBM, VIP, and Wanfang). The time ranges were from Jan 2014 to Mar 2021 in China. We adopted the random effects model to estimate the pooled positive rates of HHcy and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). To find the sources of heterogeneity, we performed subgroup analysis and meta-regression. A total of 29 related articles were identified involving 338,660 participants with 128,147 HHcy cases. The estimated prevalence of HHcy in China was 37.2% (95% CI: 32.6–41.8%, I2 = 99.8%, p for heterogeneity < 0.001). The trend of HHcy prevalence was gradually upward over time, with increases during 2015–2016 (comparison to 2013–2014, p < 0.001), but steady between 2015–2016 and 2017–2018. Subgroup analysis showed that the prevalence was higher in the elderly over 55 years old, males, and residents in the north, inland, and rural China (for each comparison, p < 0.001). Meta-regression analysis revealed that age and area of study contributed to 42.3% of the heterogeneity between studies. The current meta-analysis provides strong evidence that the prevalence of HHcy is increasing in China, and varies substantially across different ages, genders, and geographic distribution. Accordingly, high-risk population groups should be focused on, and public health policies and strategies should be carried out to prevent and control HHcy in China. Full article
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Systematic Review
Association between Metabolic Syndrome Components and Cardiac Autonomic Modulation among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Biology 2021, 10(8), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10080699 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
Background: the clustering of metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors is becoming more prevalent in children, leading to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular diseases in early adulthood. The impact of MetS risk factors on cardiac autonomic modulation (CAM) or vice [...] Read more.
Background: the clustering of metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors is becoming more prevalent in children, leading to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular diseases in early adulthood. The impact of MetS risk factors on cardiac autonomic modulation (CAM) or vice versa has been noted to track from childhood to pre-adolescence and adolescence. Understating associations in this age group may help to improve the clinical outcomes of the MetS, even when MetS symptoms are not visible. Potential damage from each individual MetS component and the ability to predict early cardiac damage or upcoming cardiovascular events is very important. Therefore, the present systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the associations between CAM and MetS risk factors individually to verify which of the MetS risk components were significantly correlated with heart rate variability (HRV) indices before or at the onset of the MetS among young people. The purpose of this review was to outline the importance of potentially screening HRV indices in young people even with only one MetS risk factor, as a pre-indicator for early cardiovascular risk stratification. Methods: cross-sectional studies that examined the relationship of MetS risk factors with HRV indices were searched using four databases including PubMed, the Cochrane clinical trials library, Medline and the Web of Science. Correlation coefficients with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), and random effects meta-analyses of the association between MetS risk factors with HRV indices were performed. Results: out of 14 cross-sectional studies and one case-control study, 8 studies (10 data sets) provided association data for the meta-analysis. Our results indicated significant positive correlations for systolic blood pressure (SBP) (correlation coefficient 0.13 (95%CI: 0.06; 0.19), I2 = 47.26%) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (correlation coefficient 0.09 (95%CI: −0.01; 0.18), I2 = 0%) with a Low Frequency/High Frequency ratio (LF/HF). Significant negative correlations for waist circumference (WC) (correlation coefficient −0.12 (95%CI: −0.19; −0.04), I2 = 51.50%), Triglycerides (TGs) (correlation coefficient −0.09 (95%CI: −0.15; −0.02), I2 = 0%) and ≥2 MetS risk factors (correlation coefficient −0.10 (95%CI: −0.16; −0.03), I2 = 0%); with high frequency (HF) were revealed. Significant positive correlations for high density lipoprotein (HDL) (correlation coefficient 0.08 (95%CI: 0.05; 0.11), I2 = 0%) and significant negative correlations of ≥2 MetS risk (correlation coefficient −0.04 (95%CI: −0.12; 0.03), I2 = 0.0%) with low frequency (LF) were revealed. Significant negative correlations for TGs (correlation coefficient −0.09 (95%CI: −0.23; 0.05), I2 = 2.01%) with a mean square root of the sum of differences between mean time between two successive intervals (rMSSD) and significant positive correlation of HDL (correlation coefficient 0.09 (95%CI: −0.01; 0.19), I2 = 0.33%) with standard deviation of the time between two successive intervals (SDNN) were also revealed. An Egger’s test indicated that there was no obvious publication bias for any of the above relationships except for TGs and rMSSD. The significance level stipulated for the meta-analysis was p < 0.05. Conclusions: lipid profiles (HDL and TGs), WC and BP were associated with CAM in young people up to the age of 19 years. The use of HRV indices to predict future MetS risk, and relationships with individual risk factors including HDL, BP, WC and TGs, were established. Future studies related to young people (up to the age of 19 years) are recommended to explore the associations reported here further. Full article
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