Special Issue "Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Sports Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Janelle Gifford
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
Interests: masters athletes; sports nutrition; nutrition knowledge; nutrition literacy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A healthy lifestyle is known to be associated with a lower risk of chronic conditions, even if adopted later in life. As such, lifestyle change is frequently recommended for therapy as well as prevention of disease. Although the term “lifestyle” encompasses a range of behaviours, nutrition and physical activity (with exercise as a specific sub-type) are often the focus of prescription for change. In a sporting context, there is also much evidence of the influence of nutrition on health and performance. Though nutrition and exercise have separate impacts, the effects of the interplay of nutrients together and in combination with exercise are important considerations for optimal health, metabolism, and exercise performance at every age.

This Special Issue invites submissions of manuscripts, either describing original research or reviews with a focus on the interaction of nutrition and exercise in optimising human health, including nutrition and exercise as therapy or in a sporting context. Submissions relating to nutrition and/or exercise metabolism in humans are welcome; however, submissions on in vitro work and animal models are not a focus of this Special Issue.

Dr. Janelle Gifford
Guest Editor

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. Nutrients 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 2400 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

  • Diet
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Lifestyle
  • Diet therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Diet as medicine
  • Exercise as medicine
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Disease prevention

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
High-Intensity Interval Training and α-Linolenic Acid Supplementation Improve DHA Conversion and Increase the Abundance of Gut Mucosa-Associated Oscillospira Bacteria
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030788 - 27 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Obesity, a major public health problem, is the consequence of an excess of body fat and biological alterations in the adipose tissue. Our aim was to determine whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and/or α-linolenic acid supplementation (to equilibrate the n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids [...] Read more.
Obesity, a major public health problem, is the consequence of an excess of body fat and biological alterations in the adipose tissue. Our aim was to determine whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and/or α-linolenic acid supplementation (to equilibrate the n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) ratio) might prevent obesity disorders, particularly by modulating the mucosa-associated microbiota. Wistar rats received a low fat diet (LFD; control) or high fat diet (HFD) for 16 weeks to induce obesity. Then, animals in the HFD group were divided in four groups: HFD (control), HFD + linseed oil (LO), HFD + HIIT, HFD + HIIT + LO. In the HIIT groups, rats ran on a treadmill, 4 days.week−1. Erythrocyte n-3 PUFA content, body composition, inflammation, and intestinal mucosa-associated microbiota composition were assessed after 12 weeks. LO supplementation enhanced α-linolenic acid (ALA) to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) conversion in erythrocytes, and HIIT potentiated this conversion. Compared with HFD, HIIT limited weight gain, fat mass accumulation, and adipocyte size, whereas LO reduced systemic inflammation. HIIT had the main effect on gut microbiota β-diversity, but the HIIT + LO association significantly increased Oscillospira relative abundance. In our conditions, HIIT had a major effect on body fat mass, whereas HIIT + LO improved ALA conversion to DHA and increased the abundance of Oscillospira bacteria in the microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Diet Quality of Elite Australian Athletes Evaluated Using the Athlete Diet Index
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010126 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1851
Abstract
While athletes’ nutrient intakes have been widely reported, few studies have assessed the diet quality of athletes. This is the first study to evaluate the diet quality of athletes using the purpose-built Athlete Diet Index (ADI). A convenience sample of 165 elite athletes [...] Read more.
While athletes’ nutrient intakes have been widely reported, few studies have assessed the diet quality of athletes. This is the first study to evaluate the diet quality of athletes using the purpose-built Athlete Diet Index (ADI). A convenience sample of 165 elite athletes from Australian sporting institutions completed the ADI online, with subsequent automated results provided to their respective accredited sports dietitians (ASDs). At the completion of athlete participation, ASDs (n = 12) responded to a range of survey items using a Likert scale (i.e., 1 = strongly agree to 5 = strongly disagree) to determine the suitability of the ADI in practice. Differences in ADI scores for demographics and sport-specific variables were investigated using independent t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Bonferroni multiple comparisons. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to assess the association between total scores and demographics. The mean total ADI score was 91.4 ± 12.2 (range 53–117, out of a possible 125). While there was no difference in total scores based on demographics or sport-specific variables; team sport athletes scored higher than individual sport athletes (92.7 vs. 88.5, p < 0.05). Athletes training fewer hours (i.e., 0–11 h/week) scored higher on Dietary Habits sub-scores compared with athletes training more hours (≥12 h/week; p < 0.05), suggesting that athletes who train longer may be at risk of a compromised dietary pattern or less than optimal nutrition practices that support training. Most (75%) ASDs surveyed strongly agreed with the perceived utility of the ADI for screening athletes and identifying areas for nutrition support, confirming its suitability for use in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity and Low Glycemic Index Mediterranean Diet: Main and Modification Effects on NAFLD Score. Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010066 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Background: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, and lifestyle modification is the current standard treatment. The aim of the study was to estimate the effect of two different physical activity (PA) programs, a Low Glycemic Index [...] Read more.
Background: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, and lifestyle modification is the current standard treatment. The aim of the study was to estimate the effect of two different physical activity (PA) programs, a Low Glycemic Index Mediterranean Diet (LGIMD), and their combined effect on the NAFLD score as measured by FibroScan®. Methods: Moderate or severe NAFLD subjects (n = 144) were randomly assigned to six intervention arms during three months. Interventions arms were a control diet, LGIMD, aerobic activity program (PA1), combined activity program (PA2), and LGIMD plus PA1 or LGIMD plus PA2. The data were compared at baseline, at 45 days, and at 90 days. Analysis of variance was performed under the intention-to-treat principle. Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in the NAFLD score after 45 days of treatment in every working arm except for Arm 1 (control diet). After 90 days, the best results were shown by the intervention arms in which LGIMD was associated with PA: LGIMD plus PA1 (−61.56 95% CI −89.61, −33.50) and LGIMD plus PA2 (−38.15 95% CI −64.53, −11.77). Conclusion: All treatments were effective to reduce NAFLD scores, but LGIMD plus PA1 was the most efficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Intermittent and Continuous Exercise Bouts at Different Intensities on Appetite and Postprandial Metabolic Responses in Healthy Men
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2370; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082370 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
Exercise intensity affects many potential postprandial responses, but there is limited information on the influence of exercise modality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate if the nature of exercise at two different intensities would affect gastric emptying rate (GER), appetite [...] Read more.
Exercise intensity affects many potential postprandial responses, but there is limited information on the influence of exercise modality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate if the nature of exercise at two different intensities would affect gastric emptying rate (GER), appetite and metabolic responses following ingestion of a semi-solid meal. Twelve healthy men completed, in a random order, four 60-min cycles at 60% VO2peak (MOD), 40% VO2peak (LOW) and in a continuous (CON) or intermittent (INT) manner. INT consisted of 20 × 1-min exercise bouts with 2-min rest breaks. INT and CON were matched for total work output at each intensity. GER of the post-exercise meal was measured for 2 h using the 13C-breath method. Blood glucose, substrate utilisation and appetite ratings were measured at regular intervals throughout all trials and 24-h energy intake (EI) post-trials was assessed. GER-Delta over Baseline (DOB) was lower (p < 0.05) on MOD-INT vs. MOD-CON from 30–120 min post-meal. Blood glucose was higher mid-exercise (p < 0.05) on MOD-INT vs. MOD-CON. Although post-exercise LOW-CON was significantly higher than LOW-INT (p < 0.05), blood glucose was also higher 30-min post-meal ingestion on both CON trials compared to INT (p < 0.001). No interaction effect was observed for perceived appetite responses 2 h after meal ingestion (all p > 0.05). 24-h post-trial EI was similar between LOW-CON vs. LOW-INT (p > 0.05), although MOD-INT vs. MOD-CON 3500 ± 1419 vs. 2556 ± 989 kCal: p < 0.001 was elevated. In summary, MOD-INT exercise delays GER without stimulating perceived appetite in the 2 h period after meal ingestion, although EI was greater in the 24-h post-trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
β2 Adrenergic Regulation of the Phagocytic and Microbicide Capacity of Circulating Monocytes: Influence of Obesity and Exercise
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051438 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Obese individuals present anomalous immune/inflammatory responses with dysregulations in neuroendocrine responses and immune/stress feedback mechanisms. In this context, exercise and β2 adrenergic activation present monocyte-mediated anti-inflammatory effects that are modulated by obesity. However, these anti-inflammatory effects could immunocompromise the monocyte-mediated innate response against [...] Read more.
Obese individuals present anomalous immune/inflammatory responses with dysregulations in neuroendocrine responses and immune/stress feedback mechanisms. In this context, exercise and β2 adrenergic activation present monocyte-mediated anti-inflammatory effects that are modulated by obesity. However, these anti-inflammatory effects could immunocompromise the monocyte-mediated innate response against a pathogen challenge. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of obesity, and exercise in this condition, on the β2 adrenergic regulation of the phagocytic and microbicide capacity of circulating monocytes. C57BL/6J mice were allocated to different sedentary or exercised, lean or obese groups. Obese mice showed a lower monocyte-mediated innate response than that of lean mice. Globally, selective β2 adrenergic receptor agonist terbutaline decreased the innate response of monocytes from lean and obese sedentary animals, whereas exercise stimulated it. Exercise modulates β2 adrenergic regulation of the innate response in lean and obese animals, with a global stimulatory or neutral effect, thus abolishing the inhibitory effect of terbutaline occurring in sedentary animals. These effects cannot be explained only by changes in the surface expression of toll-like receptors. Therefore, in general, terbutaline does not hinder the effects of regular exercise, but regular exercise does abolish the effects of terbutaline in sedentary individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Muscle Strength and Glycaemic Control among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030771 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Poor glycaemic control is associated with chronic life-threatening complications. This cross-sectional study examined whether there is an association between handgrip strength and glycaemic control among patients with diabetes. Data on 1058 participants aged 40 and older were collected from the National Health and [...] Read more.
Poor glycaemic control is associated with chronic life-threatening complications. This cross-sectional study examined whether there is an association between handgrip strength and glycaemic control among patients with diabetes. Data on 1058 participants aged 40 and older were collected from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES). Muscle strength was assessed using a handgrip dynamometer, and glycaemic control was assessed using HbA1c. Handgrip strength was presented as age- and gender-specific quartiles, with participants in quartile 1 having the lowest handgrip strength and participants in quartile 4 having the highest handgrip strength. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between handgrip strength and poor glycaemic control among participants with diabetes. Three models, each adjusted to include different variables, were employed. Odds ratio (OR) values revealed no association between handgrip strength and glycaemic control after adjusting for age, gender, and race in model 1. With further adjustment for sedentary activity, income-to-poverty ratio, education, and smoking, patients in quartile 4 of handgrip strength had 0.51 odds of poor glycaemic control (95% CI: 0.27–0.99). However, the reported association above vanished when further adjusted for insulin use (OR = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.35–1.28). In conclusion, findings may indicate an association between glycaemic control and muscle strength. This association may be altered by insulin use; further investigations are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Sport Performance—Are They Equally Beneficial for Athletes and Amateurs? A Narrative Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3712; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123712 - 30 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentanoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) are receiving increasing attention in sports nutrition. While the usual focus is that of athletes, questions remain if the different training status between athletes and amateurs influences the response to [...] Read more.
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentanoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) are receiving increasing attention in sports nutrition. While the usual focus is that of athletes, questions remain if the different training status between athletes and amateurs influences the response to EPA/DHA, and as to whether amateurs would benefit from EPA/DHA supplementation. We critically examine the efficacy of EPA/DHA on performance, recovery and injury/reduced risk of illness in athletes as well as amateurs. Relevant studies conducted in amateurs will not only broaden the body of evidence but shed more light on the effects of EPA/DHA in professionally trained vs. amateur populations. Overall, studies of EPA/DHA supplementation in sport performance are few and research designs rather diverse. Several studies suggest a potentially beneficial effect of EPA/DHA on performance by improved endurance capacity and delayed onset of muscle soreness, as well as on markers related to enhanced recovery and immune modulation. The majority of these studies are conducted in amateurs. While the evidence seems to broadly support beneficial effects of EPA/DHA supplementation for athletes and more so in amateurs, strong conclusions and clear recommendations about the use of EPA/DHA supplementation are currently hampered by inconsistent translation into clinical endpoints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Exercise and Human Health)
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