• Does Running Reduce the Availability of Healthy Fats? - Chromatography Explores

Gas Chromatography

Does Running Reduce the Availability of Healthy Fats? - Chromatography Explores

Nov 23 2019

Governments and health authorities keep spreading the message that we need to eat healthier and exercise more. The statistics on obesity and its health effects are startling with the number of cases of obesity tripling since 1975. In 2016, out of 1.9 billion overweight adults, over 650 million were classed as obese - whilst over 340 million children are classed as overweight or obese.

To help combat obesity and overweight, we are encouraged to live healthier lives. Eating more fruit and veg with smaller portion sizes can help. As can exercising. Running is one of the easiest exercises we can carry out. It also has the benefit of being a relatively inexpensive way to exercise with only a pair of training shoes needed and access to the outdoors. But can running have a negative effect on our health?

Running for your health

There are many different reasons why people run. It is known to be a great way to keep fit and maintain a healthy body and mind. Research has shown that running can increase the levels of good cholesterol in your body and give a boost to your immune system. Studies have shown that running can reduce the incidence of breast cancer and of strokes.

Running can also help people to lose weight by burning off calories - in fact, it is one of the best exercises for burning off excess calories. It is not just physically that running is good for us. Running has been shown to provide a welcome boost mentally too. Besides boosting self-esteem, running has been shown to reduce stress levels and can aid people with depressive illnesses. But apparently, running can have a negative effect on the good fats in our bodies.

Reducing PUFAs - chromatography explores

A recent study published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition reports on a correlation between distance run and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in non-elite marathon runners. PUFAs are essential for health and we have to get them from our diet. They are used in cell walls and also play a role in the inflammatory response in the body. The authors of the report how little is known about any correlation between distance run and changes in the availability of PUFAs.

The team analysed the blood of over 250 non-elite marathon runners using gas chromatography to quantify the PUFAs. The use of chromatography to analyse samples from athletes is nothing new of course - as discussed in the article, Monitoring drugs in sport testing: an insight of current trends and recent findings from the Drug Control Centre, the UK’s Anti-Doping Laboratory. The team report that distance running training may negatively affect the availability of PUFAs like omega-3. However, they conclude that further studies are needed with a much larger sample size to replicate their findings.

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