We studied the effect of regular intense aerobic exercise on the LDL susceptibility to oxidation and the electronegative LDL proportion (LDL((- ))). A group of 38 well-trained athletes was compared to a group of 38 age- BMI-matched sedentary individuals. Athletes showed higher concentration of total cholesterol (athletes 5.08 ± 0.70 versus controls 4.65 ± 0.75 mmol/l, P=0.0229) and HDL cholesterol (athletes 1.72 ± 0.47 versus controls 1.46 ± 0.39 mmol/l, P=0.0068); total plasma triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol did not differ between trained and untrained subjects. The susceptibility of LDL to oxidation, determined by conjugated dienes formation and expressed as lag phase, was lower in athletes than in sedentaries (trained subjects 47.0 ± 5.6 versus sedentary subjects 41.9 ± 5.0 min, P=0.002). LDL((-)) was similar in both groups (athletes 10.32 ± 4.70 versus controls 10.26 ± 3.71%). The antioxidant content in total plasma and isolated LDL (χ-tocopherol, retinol, lycopene, χ-carotene and β-carotene) was quantitated by HPLC in a subgroup of 32 athletes and 32 control subjects. Athletes showed higher amounts of χ-tocopherol and retinol in plasma, but not in LDL. However, none of these antioxidants correlated with the lag phase time. Trained subjects showed lower prevalence of smoking. However, no differences were observed between smokers and non-smokers concerning lag phase. No significant difference between athletes and sedentaries concerning of LDL density, or composition was observed. We conclude that LDL from trained subjects is more resistant to oxidative modification than LDL from sedentary subjects. This observation could not be attributed to conventional antioxidants as χ-tocopherol and carotene content of LDL was unchanged in trained subjects. Thus, although none of the variables studied appear as a single predictor of the LDL susceptibility to oxidation, an additive effect of the antioxidant content, the presence of some undetermined co- antioxidant. HDL and/or smoking habits cannot be discarded as responsible for the increased resistance to oxidation of LDL in trained subjects.
- Aerobic exercise
- LDL susceptibility to oxidation