Effect of exercise and menstrual cycle status on plasma lipids, low density lipoprotein particle size, and apolipoproteins.
Habitual physical exercise has been reported to have beneficial effects on plasma lipoproteins. To examine this question in women, plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I and B levels, and low density lipoprotein (LDL) particle size were determined in 25 women runners (9 of whom had exercise-related secondary amenorrhea) and 36 age-matched nonexercising women (controls). The eumenorrheic runners had significantly lower apo B levels and significantly greater mean apo A-I/apo B ratios and LDL particle sizes than did the control women (P less than 0.05). Lower apo B levels were correlated with decreased body mass index, a known exercise effect (P less than 0.0001). In addition, normally menstruating runners had cholesterol and triglyceride levels that were 7.6% and 25.4% lower, respectively, and apo A-I levels that were 6.4% higher than control women (P = NS). In amenorrheic runners all parameters were similar to values in control women, except that apo B levels were 20% lower (P less than 0.05). Amenorrheic runners had lower plasma apo A-I levels (13%) and significantly lower apo A-I/apo B ratios and estradiol levels than eumenorrheic runners, and serum estradiol values in the runners were correlated with apo A-I levels (P less than 0.01). These data indicate that the beneficial effects of strenuous exercise on plasma apo A-I levels and apo A-I/apo B ratios in women runners can be reversed by exercise-induced amenorrhea and decreased serum estradiol levels, and that women runners have lower apo B levels than nonexercising women, regardless of menstrual status.
Lamon-Fava, S; Fisher, EC; Nelson, ME; Evans, WJ; Millar, JS; Ordovas, JM; Schaefer, EJ
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