Background: Popular beliefs that breakfast is the most important meal of the day are grounded in cross-sectional observations that link breakfast to health, the causal nature of which remains to be explored under real-life conditions.Objective: The aim was to conduct a randomized controlled trial examining causal links between breakfast habits and all components of energy balance in free-living humans.Design: The Bath Breakfast Project is a randomized controlled trial with repeated-measures at baseline and follow-up in a cohort in southwest England aged 21–60 y with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry–derived fat mass indexes ≤11 kg/m2 in women (n = 21) and ≤7.5 kg/m2 in men (n = 12). Components of energy balance (resting metabolic rate, physical activity thermogenesis, energy intake) and 24-h glycemic responses were measured under free-living conditions with random allocation to daily breakfast (≥700 kcal before 1100) or extended fasting (0 kcal until 1200) for 6 wk, with baseline and follow-up measures of health markers (eg, hematology/biopsies).Results: Contrary to popular belief, there was no metabolic adaptation to breakfast (eg, resting metabolic rate stable within 11 kcal/d), with limited subsequent suppression of appetite (energy intake remained 539 kcal/d greater than after fasting; 95% CI: 157, 920 kcal/d). Rather, physical activity thermogenesis was markedly higher with breakfast than with fasting (442 kcal/d; 95% CI: 34, 851 kcal/d). Body mass and adiposity did not differ between treatments at baseline or follow-up and neither did adipose tissue glucose uptake or systemic indexes of cardiovascular health. Continuously measured glycemia was more variable during the afternoon and evening with fasting than with breakfast by the final week of the intervention (CV: 3.9%; 95% CI: 0.1%, 7.8%).Conclusions: Daily breakfast is causally linked to higher physical activity thermogenesis in lean adults, with greater overall dietary energy intake but no change in resting metabolism. Cardiovascular health indexes were unaffected by either of the treatments, but breakfast maintained more stable afternoon and evening glycemia than did fasting. This trial was registered at www.isrctn.org as ISRCTN31521726.
Physical activity and exercise are key components of energy expenditure and therefore of energy balance. Changes in energy balance alter fat mass. It is therefore reasonable to ask: What are the links between physical activity and adipose tissue function? There are many complexities. Physical activity is a multifaceted behavior of which exercise is just one component. Physical activity influences adipose tissue both acutely and in the longer term. A single bout of exercise stimulates adipose tissue blood flow and fat mobilization, resulting in delivery of fatty acids to skeletal muscles at a rate well-matched to metabolic requirements, except perhaps in vigorous intensity exercise. The stimuli include adrenergic and other circulating factors. There is a period following an exercise bout when fatty acids are directed away from adipose tissue to other tissues such as skeletal muscle, reducing dietary fat storage in adipose. With chronic exercise (training), there are changes in adipose tissue physiology, particularly an enhanced fat mobilization during acute exercise. It is difficult, however, to distinguish chronic "structural" changes from those associated with the last exercise bout. In addition, it is difficult to distinguish between the effects of training per se and negative energy balance. Epidemiological observations support the idea that physically active people have relatively low fat mass, and intervention studies tend to show that exercise training reduces fat mass. A much-discussed effect of exercise versus calorie restriction in preferentially reducing visceral fat is not borne out by meta-analyses. We conclude that, in addition to the regulation of fat mass, physical activity may contribute to metabolic health through beneficial dynamic changes within adipose tissue in response to each activity bout.
Background: The causal nature of associations between breakfast and health remain unclear in obese individuals.Objective: We sought to conduct a randomized controlled trial to examine causal links between breakfast habits and components of energy balance in free-living obese humans.Design: The Bath Breakfast Project is a randomized controlled trial with repeated measures at baseline and follow-up among a cohort in South West England aged 21–60 y with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry–derived fat mass indexes of ≥13 kg/m2 for women (n = 15) and ≥9 kg/m2 for men (n = 8). Components of energy balance (resting metabolic rate, physical activity thermogenesis, diet-induced thermogenesis, and energy intake) were measured under free-living conditions with random allocation to daily breakfast (≥700 kcal before 1100) or extended fasting (0 kcal until 1200) for 6 wk, with baseline and follow-up measures of health markers (e.g., hematology/adipose biopsies).Results: Breakfast resulted in greater physical activity thermogenesis during the morning than when fasting during that period (difference: 188 kcal/d; 95% CI: 40, 335) but without any consistent effect on 24-h physical activity thermogenesis (difference: 272 kcal/d; 95% CI: −254, 798). Energy intake was not significantly greater with breakfast than fasting (difference: 338 kcal/d; 95% CI: −313, 988). Body mass increased across both groups over time but with no treatment effects on body composition or any change in resting metabolic rate (stable within 8 kcal/d). Metabolic/cardiovascular health also did not respond to treatments, except for a reduced insulinemic response to an oral-glucose-tolerance test over time with daily breakfast relative to an increase with daily fasting (P = 0.05).Conclusions: In obese adults, daily breakfast leads to greater physical activity during the morning, whereas morning fasting results in partial dietary compensation (i.e., greater energy intake) later in the day. There were no differences between groups in weight change and most health outcomes, but insulin sensitivity increased with breakfast relative to fasting. This trial was registered at www.isrctn.org as ISRCTN31521726.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether 2 weeks of vitamin C supplementation affects recovery from an unaccustomed bout of exercise. Sixteen male subjects were allocated to either a placebo (P; n = 8) or vitamin C group (VC; n = 8). The VC group consumed 200 mg of ascorbic acid twice a day, whereas the P group consumed identical capsules containing 200 mg of lactose. Subjects performed a prolonged (90-min) intermittent shuttle-running test 14 days after supplementation began. Post-exercise serum creatine kinase activities and myoglobin concentrations were unaffected by supplementation. However, vitamin C supplementation had modest beneficial effects on muscle soreness, muscle function, and plasma concentrations of malondialdehyde. Furthermore, although plasma interleukin-6 increased immediately after exercise in both groups, values in the VC group were lower than in the P group 2 hours after exercise (p < .05). These results suggest that prolonged vitamin C supplementation has some modest beneficial effects on recovery from unaccustomed exercise.
Background/objectives:The presence of T lymphocytes in human adipose tissue has only recently been demonstrated and relatively little is known of their potential relevance in the development of obesity-related diseases. We aimed to further characterise these cells and in particular to investigate how they interact with modestly increased levels of adiposity typical of common overweight and obesity.Subjects/methods:Subcutaneous adipose tissue and fasting blood samples were obtained from healthy males aged 35–55 years with waist circumferences in lean (<94 cm), overweight (94–102 cm) and obese (>102 cm) categories. Adipose tissue-resident CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes together with macrophages were identified by gene expression and flow cytometry. T lymphocytes were further characterised by their expression of activation markers CD25 and CD69. Adipose tissue inflammation was investigated using gene expression analysis and tissue culture.Results:Participants reflected a range of adiposity from lean to class I obesity. Expression of CD4 (T-helper cells) and CD68 (macrophage), as well as FOXP3 RNA transcripts, was elevated in subcutaneous adipose tissue with increased levels of adiposity (P<0.001, P<0.001 and P=0.018, respectively). Flow cytometry revealed significant correlations between waist circumference and levels of CD25 and CD69 expression per cell on activated adipose tissue-resident CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes (P-values ranging from 0.053 to <0.001). No such relationships were found with blood T lymphocytes. This increased T lymphocyte activation was related to increased expression and secretion of various pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines from subcutaneous whole adipose tissue explants.Conclusions:This is the first study to demonstrate that even modest levels of overweight/obesity elicit modifications in adipose tissue immune function. Our results underscore the importance of T lymphocytes during adipose tissue expansion, and the presence of potential compensatory mechanisms that may work to counteract adipose tissue inflammation, possibly through an increased number of T-regulatory cells.
Ageing, like obesity, is often associated with alterations in metabolic and inflammatory processes resulting in morbidity from diseases characterised by poor metabolic control, insulin insensitivity, and inflammation. Ageing populations also exhibit a decline in immune competence referred to as immunosenescence, which contributes to, or might be driven by chronic, low-grade inflammation termed “inflammageing”. In recent years, animal and human studies have started to uncover a role for immune cells within the stromal fraction of adipose tissue in driving the health complications that come with obesity, but relatively little work has been conducted in the context of immunometabolic adipose function in ageing. It is now clear that aberrant immune function within adipose tissue in obesity—including an accumulation of pro-inflammatory immune cell populations—plays a major role in the development of systemic chronic, low-grade inflammation, and limiting the function of adipocytes leading to an impaired fat handling capacity. As a consequence, these changes increase the chance of multiorgan dysfunction and disease onset. Considering the important role of the immune system in obesity-associated metabolic and inflammatory diseases, it is critically important to further understand the interplay between immunological processes and adipose tissue function, establishing whether this interaction contributes to age-associated immunometabolic dysfunction and inflammation. Therefore, the aim of this article is to summarise how the interaction between adipose tissue and the immune system changes with ageing, likely contributing to the age-associated increase in inflammatory activity and loss of metabolic control. To understand the potential mechanisms involved, parallels will be drawn to the current knowledge derived from investigations in obesity. We also highlight gaps in research and propose potential future directions based on the current evidence.
Key points• Physical exercise significantly improves health but to what extent these benefits depend on altered energy balance remains unclear.• In a human experimental model, we investigated whether daily exercise could counteract the effects of short-term overfeeding and under-activity independent of its impact on energy imbalance in healthy young men.• Short-term positive energy balance from overfeeding and under-activity resulted in impaired metabolic outcomes and alterations in the expression of several key genes within adipose tissue involved in nutritional balance, metabolism and insulin action.• These changes were mostly prevented by the addition of a daily vigorous-intensity exercise bout even in the face of a standardised energy surplus.Abstract Physical activity can affect many aspects of metabolism but it is unclear to what extent this relies on manipulation of energy balance. Twenty-six active men age 25 ± 7 years (mean ± SD) were randomly assigned either to consume 50% more energy than normal by over-consuming their habitual diet for 7 days whilst simultaneously restricting their physical activity below 4000 steps day −1 to induce an energy surplus (SUR group; n = 14) or to the same regimen but with 45 min of daily treadmill running at 70% of maximum oxygen uptake (SUR+EX group; n = 12). Critically, the SUR+EX group received additional dietary energy intake to account for the energy expended by exercise, thus maintaining a matched energy surplus. At baseline and follow-up, fasted blood samples and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were obtained and oral glucose tolerance tests conducted. Insulinaemic responses to a standard glucose load increased 2-fold from baseline to follow-up in the SUR group ( 17 ± 16 nmol (120 min) l −1 ; P = 0.002) whereas there was no change in the SUR+EX group ( 1 ± 6 nmol (120 min) l −1 ). Seven of 17 genes within adipose tissue were differentially expressed in the SUR group; expression of SREBP-1c, FAS and GLUT4 was significantly up-regulated and expression of PDK4, IRS2, HSL and visfatin was significantly down-regulated (P ≤ 0.05). The pAMPK/AMPK protein ratio in adipose tissue was significantly down-regulated in the SUR group (P = 0.005). Vigorous-intensity exercise counteracted most of the effects of short-term overfeeding and under-activity at the whole-body level and in adipose tissue, even in the face of a standardised energy surplus. Abbreviations AKT1, RAC-α serine/threonine-protein kinase; AKT2, RAC-β serine/threonine-protein kinase; ALT, alanine transaminase; AMPK, 5 AMP-activated protein kinase; CI, confidence interval; CRP, C-reactive protein; Ct, threshold cycle; DEXA, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; DIT, diet-induced thermogenesis; DNL, de novo lipogenesis; EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption; FAS, fatty acid synthase; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GLUT4, glucose transporter type 4; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; HOMA-IR, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance; HOMA-β, homeostasis model assessment for...
The adoption of regular structured exercise in previously sedentary, middle-aged, and overweight men does not result in a negative compensatory reduction in nonprescribed physical activity. The less-than-predicted weight loss is likely to reflect a compensatory increase in energy intake in response to a perceived state of relative energy insufficiency.
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