Eating Almonds Daily Boosts Exercise Recovery Molecule by 69% Among ‘Weekend Warriors’

Summary: Adding 57g of almonds to the daily diet for a month increased the levels of the beneficial fat, 12,13-DiHOME in blood samples taken immediately after an intense training session.

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For people who exercise regularly, eating almonds every day can be an ideal new year’s resolution.

A randomized controlled trial Frontiers in Nutrition showed that female and male participants who ate 57g of almonds per day for a month had more 12,13-dihydroxy-9Z-octadecenoic acid (12,13-DiHOME) beneficial fats in their blood after an intense exercise session than control participants. .

This molecule, called oxylipin (oxidized fat) is synthesized from linoleic acid by brown fat tissue, and has beneficial effects on metabolic health and energy regulation.

Corresponding author Dr. David C Nieman, professor and director of the Human Performance Laboratory of Appalachian State University at the North Carolina Research Campus, said: “Here we show that volunteers who consumed 57g of almonds per day for a month before one ‘weekend warrior’. Sports competition had 12,13-DiHOME more useful in the blood after exercise than control volunteers. They also reported feeling less fatigue and tension, better leg strength, and less muscle damage after exercise than control volunteers.

A four-week dietary supplement with almonds

The clinical trial involved 38 men and 26 women between the ages of 30 and 65, who did not participate in regular weight training. About half were randomized to the almond diet group, and the other half to the control group, which ate a calorie-matched cereal bar each day. Researchers took blood and urine samples before and after a four-week period of dietary supplementation.

Performance measures included the 30-second Wingate anaerobic test, the 50-meter shuttle run test, and the vertical jump, bench press, and leg-back strength exercises. Additional blood and urine samples were taken immediately after the 90-minute session of ‘eccentric exercise’ and daily for four days.

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After each blood draw, participants filled out a ‘Profile of Mood States’ (POMS) questionnaire to quantify their mental state, and rated delayed muscle soreness – that is, pain and stiffness felt after unusual or strenuous exercise – on a 10-point scale intervals.

As expected, the 90-minute exercise resulted in an increase in volunteer-reported muscle pain and soreness, as well as higher POMS scores, which reflect self-reported strength and increased fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

This refers to almonds
As expected, the 90-minute exercise resulted in an increase in volunteer-reported muscle pain and soreness, as well as higher POMS scores, which reflect self-reported strength and increased fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Images are in the public domain

The exercise also caused an increase in blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and MCP-1, consistent with less muscle damage. However, changes in these cytokines were similar in the almond and cereal bar groups.

Differences in the two concentrations of DiHOME

Importantly, immediately after exercise, the beneficial concentration of 12,13-DiHOME was 69% higher in the blood plasma of participants in the almond group than participants in the control group. 12,13-DiHOME is known to increase fatty acid transport and uptake by skeletal muscle, with an overall effect to stimulate metabolic recovery after exercise.

The opposite pattern was found for another oxylipin, the slightly toxic 9,10-Dihydroxy-12-octadecenoic acid (9,10-diHOME), which was 40% higher after exercise in the blood of the control group than in the almond group. . Unlike 12,13-DiHOME, 9,10-diHOME has been shown to have negative effects on overall health and body recovery for exercise.

The polyphenols in the skin of almonds may be the key

Nieman and colleagues concluded that daily consumption of almonds led to metabolic changes, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress from exercise and allowed the body to recover faster.

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“We concluded that almonds provide a unique and complex blend of nutrients and polyphenols that can support metabolic recovery from stressful exercise levels. Almonds have high amounts of protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, minerals, and fiber. And the brown skin of almonds contains polyphenols that are present in the large intestine and help control inflammation and oxidative stress,” Nieman said.

The authors state that the research was conducted in the absence of commercial or financial relationships that could be considered a potential conflict of interest.

Funding: Funded by the California Almond Council, Modesto, CA. The funder had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, preparation of the manuscript, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

About this diet and exercise research news

Author: Mischa Dijkstra
Source: border
Ignition: Mischa Dijkstra – Frontiers
Picture: The image is in the public domain

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Original Research: Open access.
“Almond Intake Alters the Acute Plasma Dihydroxy-Octadecenoic Acid (DiHOME) Response to Eccentric Exercise” by David Nieman et al. Frontiers in Nutrition


Almond Intake Modulates Acute Plasma Dihydroxy-Octadecenoic Acid (DiHOME) Responses to Eccentric Exercise

This investigation determined that ingestion of nutrient-dense almonds for 4 weeks reduced post-exercise inflammation and muscle soreness and damage. Acute 90-minute eccentric exercise (90-EE) was used to induce muscle damage in 64 nonobese adults who did not participate in regular resistance training (age 30-65 years, BMI <30 kg/m2).

Using a parallel group design, participants were randomized to either an almond (AL) (57 g/d) or cereal bar (CB) (calorie-matched) treatment group for a period of 4 weeks prior to 90-EE (17 exercises).

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Blood and 24-hour urine samples were collected before and after supplementation, with additional blood samples collected immediately after 90-EE, then daily for 4 days of additional recovery. Changes in plasma oxylipins, urinary gut-derived phenolics, plasma cytokines, biomarkers of muscle damage, mood state, and exercise performance were assessed.

The 90-EE protocol caused significant muscle damage, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), inflammation, reduced strength and power performance, and mood disorders. The interaction effect (group 2 x 7 time points) supports that AL vs CB is associated with reduced fatigue and post-exercise tension (p = 0.051, 0.033, respectively) and a higher level of leg strength (p = 0.029). No group differences were found for post-90-EE increases in DOMS and six cytokines. AL was associated with lower serum creatine kinase levels immediately- and 1 day after exercise (p = 0.034 and 0.013, respectively).

The 90-EE bout increased plasma levels immediately after exercise for 13 oxylipins. The interaction effect showed a higher level for AL vs CB for 12,13-DiHOME (p<0.001) and a lower level for 9,10-DiHOME (p<0.001). Increased urinary levels in AL vs CB for seven gut-derived phenolics including 5-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone correlated with changes in plasma 9,10-DiHOME (r=-0.029, p = 0.021).

These data support several positive effects of almond intake to improve mood, retain strength, reduce muscle damage, increase the generation of intestinal-derived phenolic metabolites, and modify plasma oxylipin DiHOME response to unusual eccentric exercise in untrained adults.

Elevated post-exercise plasma levels of 12,13-DiHOME with almond intake support positive metabolic outcomes in adults participating in eccentric eccentric exercise.


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