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Effect of acute exercise on postprandial endothelial function in postmenopausal women: a randomized cross-over study
  1. Meena Shah1,
  2. Sarah Bailey1,
  3. Adam Gloeckner1,
  4. Andreas Kreutzer1,
  5. Beverley Adams-Huet2,
  6. Dennis Cheek3,
  7. Joel Mitchell1
  1. 1 Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  2. 2 Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA
  3. 3 Nursing, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Meena Shah, Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas 76129, USA; m.shah{at}


High-sugar intake may cause endothelial dysfunction. It is unknown if a bout of aerobic exercise improves endothelial dysfunction caused by a high-sugar meal in postmenopausal women. This study evaluated if prior aerobic exercise attenuates postprandial endothelial dysfunction in postmenopausal women. Twenty-two postmenopausal women (age [mean±SD]: 60.4±6.5 years; % body fat: 40.3%±7.5%) underwent an exercise (EX) or no exercise (NE) condition, in a random order, 13–16 hours prior to the high-sugar meal consumption. The EX condition included a 60 min bout of supervised aerobic exercise at 75% of age-predicted maximum heart rate. The high-sugar meal, consumed after a 12-hour fast, contained 33% of the subjects’ daily energy needs, and 75.6% energy from carbohydrates. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and blood concentrations of glucose, insulin, endothelin-1 (ET-1), and nitric oxide (NO) were assessed at baseline and 60 min, 120 min, and 180 min postprandially. Repeated measures analysis test showed that there were no condition by time interaction or condition effects for FMD, glucose, insulin, or NO. There was a significant condition by time interaction but no condition effect for ET-1. Area under the curve was also not different by condition for insulin sensitivity or the above variables. In conclusion, prior aerobic exercise compared with NE did not affect FMD, blood glucose, insulin, ET-1 or NO concentrations, or insulin sensitivity following a high-sugar meal in postmenopausal women. Future studies should look at the effect of different EX intensities on meal-induced endothelial dysfunction in this population.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT02919488

  • acute exercise
  • postmenopausal women
  • endothelial dysfunction
  • nitric oxide
  • endothelin-1
  • glucose

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  • Contributors MS designed the study, analyzed the data, and wrote the paper; SB designed the study, collected the data, and reviewed the paper; AG collected the data and reviewed the paper; AK collected the data and reviewed the paper; BAH generated the randomization schema, analyzed the data, and reviewed the paper; DC reviewed the paper; JM designed the study and reviewed the paper.

  • Funding This study was partly funded by Research and Creative Activity Fund from TCU.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Our manuscript was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Texas Christian University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.