Changes in inflammation markers after a 10-week high-intensity combined strength and endurance training block in women : The effect of hormonal contraceptive use

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Publication Details
Author list: Ihalainen, Johanna K.
Publication year: 2019
Start page: 1044
End page: 1048
Number of pages: 5
ISSN: 1440-2440


Objectives: The influence of hormonal contraceptives (HC) on inflammation and body composition after high-intensity combined strength and endurance training was investigated. Design: Active healthy women formed two training groups: HC users (HCU, n = 9) and those who had never used HC (NHC, n = 9). Training included two strength training sessions and two high-intensity interval training sessions per week for 10 weeks. Methods: Before (PRE) and after (POST) the training intervention, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1beta (IL-1ß) concentrations were measured. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to estimate fat mass (FM), abdominal fat mass (aFM), and lean mass (LM). Results: Circulating concentrations of hs-CRP decreased significantly in the NHC from pre to post with -0.46 mg l-1 (95% CI: -0.78, -0.14, p = 0.009, ES = 0.434), whereas a significant increase was observed in HCU from pre to post with 0.89 mg l-1 (95% CI: 1.66, 0.12, p = 0.048, ES = 1.988) with a significant between-group difference (p = 0.015). In addition, hs-CRP concentration was significantly higher in HCU than in NHC after training (p = 0.036) at post. Lean mass increased significantly more in NHC than in HCU (p = 0.049). Conclusions: High-intensity combined strength and endurance training can modify inflammation and body composition of women. The present study showed that inflammation, in terms of hs-CRP was higher post training in HCU than NHC, which may be associated with smaller gains in lean mass in response to training.

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