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Carbohydrate supplementation does not blunt the prolonged exercise-induced reduction of in vivo immunity

Davison, Glen (2015) Carbohydrate supplementation does not blunt the prolonged exercise-induced reduction of in vivo immunity. European Journal of Nutrition, 55 (4). pp. 1583-1593. ISSN 1436-6207. (doi:10.1007/s00394-015-0977-z) (KAR id:61165)



Carbohydrate (CHO) supplementation during prolonged exercise is widely acknowledged to blunt in vitro immunoendocrine responses, but no study has investigated in vivo immunity.


To determine the effect of CHO supplementation during prolonged exercise on in vivo immune induction using experimental contact hypersensitivity with the novel antigen diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP).


In a double-blind design, 32 subjects were randomly assigned to 120 min of treadmill exercise at 60 % V?O2max

with CHO (Ex-CHO) or placebo (Ex-PLA) supplementation. Responses were also compared to 16 resting control (CON) subjects from a previous study (for additional comparison with a resting non-exercise condition). Standardised diets (24 h pre-trial) and breakfasts (3.5 h pre-trial) were provided. Subjects received a primary DPCP exposure (sensitisation) 20 min after trial completion, and exactly 28 days later the strength of immune reactivity was quantified by magnitude of the cutaneous response (skin-fold thickness and erythema) to a low dose-series DPCP challenge. Stress hormones and leucocyte trafficking were also monitored.


CHO supplementation blunted the cortisol and leucocyte trafficking responses, but there was no difference (P > 0.05) between Ex-CHO and Ex-PLA in the in vivo immune responses (e.g. both ~46 % lower than CON for skin-fold response).


CHO supplementation does not influence the decrease in in vivo immunity seen after prolonged exercise. The effects with more stressful (or fasted) exercise remain to be determined. However, there appears to be no benefit under the conditions of the present study, which have practical relevance to what many athletes do in training or competition.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s00394-015-0977-z
Uncontrolled keywords: Running, Immune, Contact hypersensitivity, Diphenylcyclopropenone, Glucose, Whole integrated immune response
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA784 Nutrition
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1235 Physiology of sports
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Glen Davison
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2017 12:05 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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