Effects of interval aerobic training combined with strength exercise on cardiometabolic markers.Transferring from animal testing to climacteric women

  1. Coll Risco, Irene
Supervised by:
  1. Virginia Aparicio García-Molina Director
  2. Daniel Camiletti Moirón Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Granada

Fecha de defensa: 21 September 2018

  1. José Luis Quiles Morales Chair
  2. Cristina Sánchez González Secretary
  3. Susana Aznar Laín Committee member
  4. José Castro Piñero Committee member
  5. Marta González Freire Committee member

Type: Thesis


Obesity is increasing its prevalence all over the world and is becoming an important global concern for its association with dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance, and inflammation. All these cardiometabolic markers are predictors of an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. In this sense, an adverse cardiometabolic profile might be reversed by physical exercise, specially a combination of interval aerobic training and strength exercise (IASE). The major aims of the present International Doctoral Thesis were: i) to examine the effects of an IASE protocol and diet on body composition and other cardiometabolic markers in metabolically obese animal subjects (Stage 1); and, ii) to extend the study of this specific training protocol to a human model at high risk of cardiometabolic alterations (i.e. climacteric women) (Stage 2). To address these aims, five studies were conducted in the context of two research projects. Stage 1, (studies I and II) was an IASE and caloric restriction based project carried out with metabolically obese and control (lean phenotype) Zucker rats. The animals were divided in groups of 8 rats to test the influence of phenotype, the IASE protocol and caloric restriction. Stage 2 (Studies III to V) was carried out as part of the FLAMENCO (the Fitness League Against MENopause COst) project randomized controlled trial, and comprised a total of 150 climacteric women. The participants were divided into IASE and counselling group (both, n=75). Counselling consisted on four conferences about healthy diet and lifestyle. Body composition, plasma glycaemic and lipid profile and some plasma inflammatory markers were measured in both projects. Intention to treat and per protocol analyses were presented for the randomized controlled trial. The main findings and conclusions derived from the five studies included in this Thesis were: I) In an obese phenotype of rats, the practice of an IASE protocol enhanced body composition and lipid profile, and even restore glucose concentrations to normal ranges; II) The IASE protocol improved inflammation, glycaemic profile and body composition beyond caloric restriction. In regards to the Stage 2, the main findings were: III) An interval aerobic training combined with strength exercise protocol reduced body mass index and gynoid and android fat mass and improved bone mineral content of the pelvis in climacteric women. Moreover, the reduction seen in gynoid and android fat mass was associated with lower pharmaceutical expenditure. IV) The interval aerobic training combined with strength exercise protocol promoted a healthier cardiometabolic profile in climacteric women. V) A greater fulfilment of the Mediterranean Dietary pattern was simply implemented through four conferences in the counselling group. Women in the exercise group increased their beer consumption, which might have been due to the social meetings after the exercise trainings. The results of this International Doctoral Thesis enhance our understanding about how exercise positively influences cardiometabolic markers in subjects prone to metabolic alterations. Future studies should combine this IASE protocol with dietary interventions based on the Mediterranean Diet in search of better results. This Thesis closes the cycle regarding the transference of knowledge from animal testing to human research.