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Training low body weight & immunity

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Training low body weight & immunity

Post by hSingh on Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:45 pm

Weight class & Immune System

A team of Japanese researchers at Hirosaki University School of Medicine have shown that the excessive weight reduction that martial artists imposes on them selves to make weight classes for competition, actually damage their immune systems.

Eighteen male competitive judoists participated in the study. Whole blood assay, oxidative burst activity, phagocytic activity, expressions of Fc gamma receptor 3, and complement receptor 3 of neutrophils were measured on a per cell basis by flow cytometry. This is a comprehensive assessment of immune function.

Blood samples were taken in the weeks leading up to and after major competition. Results showed that the athletes that restricted calories the most, while leading up to competition, suffered the greatest damage to their immune function. The rate of neutrophils incorporating opsonized zymosan decreased significantly with energy restriction. The total phagocytic activity of 10,000 neutrophils and the phagocytic activity per cell also decreased significantly by severe energy restriction.

The scientists concluded that to ensure the health of athletes attempting to make weight for competition, weight reduction strategies should be composed mainly of training and exercise, and that the energy (food) restriction should be very moderate. To lose the weight and stay healthy, the athletes should concern themselves with increasing their training (energy expenditure), rather than cutting calories drastically.

Ref Med Sci Sports Exerc. Apr;33(4):519-24, 2001.


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