BOONE, N.C. — A study conducted by Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab, which is located at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, will test two weeks’ worth of mixed flavonoid versus placebo supplementation on the immune system, oxidative stress and inflammation of individuals following strenuous exercise. The study is funded by a $97,270 grant from Reoxcyn Innovation Group LLC.
Dr. David Nieman, professor in Appalachian’s Department of Health and Exercise Science and director of the Human Performance Lab, is the project’s lead researcher. Other collaborators on the project include Dr. Jennifer McBride, assistant director and research scientist in the Human Performance Lab, and Dr. Giuseppe Valacchi, associate professor in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University.
“Prolonged and intensive exercise increases oxidative stress, inflammation, muscle damage, stress hormone levels, and immune dysfunction, which collectively represents exercise-induced physiological stress,” Nieman said.
According to Nieman, plant flavonoids — a type of plant chemical found in fruits, green tea, vegetables and other plant foods — may provide benefits for athletes and others who engage in strenuous activity, including improving immune function and lessening the oxidative stress and inflammation that occurs following bouts of vigorous exercise.
The purpose of the study, Nieman said, is to investigate the influence of two weeks’ worth of mixed flavonoid versus placebo supplementation on the body’s immune system, as well as the oxidative stress and inflammation biomarkers in 20 male and female participants after a cycling exercise (75 kilometers) is performed by each individual.
Blood samples will be collected from the study participants pre-supplementation and then pre- and post-exercise (1.5 hours after the exercise is performed, and then 21 hours following the exercise test), Nieman explained, with immune cells separated and analyzed for oxidative stress and inflammation biomarkers.
Nieman said he and his team hypothesize that two weeks of mixed flavonoid versus placebo supplementation will support immune function and lessen post-exercise increases in oxidative stress and inflammation in the test subjects.
Emily Zerona, a junior public health major at Appalachian from Concord, is assisting with the research project.
About the Department of Health and Exercise Science
The Department of Health and Exercise Science in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences delivers student-centered education that is accentuated by quality teaching, scholarly activity and service. The department includes three undergraduate academic disciplines: athletic training, exercise science and public health. The department also offers a master’s degree in exercise science that prepares students for advanced study in a variety of related fields, as well as research. Learn more at https://hes.appstate.edu.
About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian's Beaver College of Health Sciences opened in 2010 as the result of a strategic university commitment to significantly enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities in North Carolina and beyond. In 2015, the college was named for an Appalachian alumnus and pioneer in the health care industry — Donald C. Beaver ’62 ’64 of Conover. The college offers 10 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Exercise Science; Nursing; Nutrition and Health Care Management; Recreation Management and Physical Education; and Social Work. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.