Active Voice: Understanding the Use of Antioxidant Supplementation with Exercise
By Allan Goldfarb, Ph.D., FACSM, FNAK Share
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.
Allan H. Goldfarb, Ph.D., FACSM, FNAK, is Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. His research focuses on the interaction of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant supplementation during exercise. He has published numerous research articles on this topic, as well as several reviews and book chapters. In the March 2011 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE), Dr. Goldfarb coauthored related research entitled, “Effects of a Fruit/Berry/Vegetable Supplement on Muscle Function and Oxidative Stress.”
There is a great deal of conversation surrounding antioxidant supplementation and the potential need for these substances. There are numerous advertisements on the market for antioxidant vitamins and for packaged items touting that they contain antioxidants. The idea that antioxidants are necessary comes from the concept that they protect the body against harmful substances known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), or radicals. These radicals are typically molecules with an unpaired electron. Because they have a negative charge, they seek a balance and typically react with other molecules. This interaction often changes the affected molecules and could damage them. However, we now know that these ROS are important signaling molecules that help direct cellular action. More
NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Obesity Research
SMB is pleased to provide updates on federal agencies of interest to our members. For many scientists, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is of primary importance because of its robust research agenda.
Last Thursday, March 31, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released its 2011 Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research. This plan maps out a range of research opportunities designed to discover the causes of, and find solutions to, obesity.
Review the plan and watch a video of NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., at www.obesityresearch.nih.gov/index.htm.
Policy Corner: Ratcheting Up the NIH Physical Activity Research Agenda
ACSM is embarking on a renewed campaign in 2011 to urge the National Institutes of Health to place a higher priority on physical activity (PA) research as they make decisions about the research portfolios of each NIH institute and grant-awarding mechanism. This effort will focus on educating key Members of Congress about the potential health benefits of basic, translational, and applied physical activity research; engaging with allied health science organizations to leverage the ACSM agenda; and continuing to regularly interact with senior official at the NIH who oversee research portfolio decisions. This renewed effort will be supported the Bose Public Affairs Group, which ACSM has retained to assist in policy and legislative matters at both the state and federal level.
For many years, ACSM members have been in frequent contact with NIH officials at various Institutes, the Center for Scientific Review, and offices of NIH Director Collins and his predecessors to make the case for why activity-related research should feature more prominently in NIH efforts to improve health, but these efforts have yielded little improvement in how physical activity is being addressed at the agency.
Considering that CDC data indicate that poor diet and physical inactivity cause over 400,000 deaths each year, one case in point is the disparity between how nutrition and physical activity are actually treated within the NIH administrative research structure. While NIH has created an agency-wide Nutrition Coordinating Committee to “review, stimulate, and encourage the necessary support of nutrition research and training and to define the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention and management,” no similar entity exists for physical activity. This lack of focus on physical activity is further compounded by a relative scarcity of experts from the PA field who sit on the relevant study sections reviewing PA-related grants.
To shed greater light on how NIH is setting its policies relative to physical activity, ACSM will be hosting a series of Congressional briefings for lawmakers to explore how NIH sets its policies in this area. In parallel to this effort, ACSM has already begun expanding its engagement with House and Senate Appropriations Committee members – who control NIH’s budget – and will be building allies throughout the Congress to champion physical activity as a means to improve U.S. health outcomes. We will keep you posted in this e-newsletter as the campaign develops through the year.
Make a Donation to the ACSM Silent Auction
Each year, the ACSM Foundation’s Silent Auction raises crucial funds for the College’s research grant program. You can support the future of sports medicine and exercise science through a donation to the Silent Auction.
What can you donate? Anything of value to ACSM members in their personal and professional lives – signed memorabilia, sports equipment, trips, etc. Use your university and corporate contacts to support your contribution to the Foundation. Have an item to donate? Email Stacey Holdaway at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science & Research Update: New Engineered Protein Effectively Blocks AIDS Virus
New research may have identified a protein that can help prevent the AIDS virus from entering cells, according to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), of which ACSM is a member society. According to an announcement in this month’s FASEB Journal, this rationally designed inhibitor may help in the development of drugs to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS infection.
The protein fragment is based on a naturally occurring protein called RANTES, which is part of the body’s immune system. RANTES naturally defends the body against HIV/AIDS but has several other biological effects which could cause harmful inflammation. To develop this new protein fragment, researchers dissected the section of the RANTES protein that actually blocks HIV entry and stabilized it without compromising its protective effects. This created a peptide with a high potency against HIV, with additional benefits for treating inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and lupus.
Call for Nominations for The 2011 Odyssey Award
In 2010, ACSM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated the Odyssey Award to recognize an individual who exemplifies outstanding achievement in global physical activity promotion. The 2010 award was presented to Jasem Ramadan.
The winner of the Odyssey Award will receive a trophy and cash award of $4,000. If you’d like to nominate someone for this award, please email Jim Whitehead and Becky Lankenau by Tuesday, April 19. Nominations should include the nominee’s resume and should respond to the following:
Headlines include recent stories in the media on sports medicine and exercise science topics and do not reflect ACSM statements, views or endorsements. Headlines are meant to inform members on what the public is reading and hearing about the field.
When Exercise is Too Much of a Good Thing
The New York Times Share
Recently, researchers in Britain set out to study the heart health of a group of dauntingly fit older athletes. Uninterested in sluggards, the scientists recruited only men who had been part of a British national or Olympic team in distance running or rowing, as well as members of the extremely selective 100 Marathon club, which admits runners who, as you might have guessed, have completed at least a hundred marathons. More
Athletes' Mad Skills May Translate to Everyday Tasks -- Like Dodging Cars
WGN Radio Share
We know that being involved in athletics has a host of healthful benefits. Among them, according to a new study, may be the ability to dodge cars.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set up a virtual reality street crossing scene to see if the skills athletes acquire during training and play translate to everyday tasks and if those skills are superior to those of non-athletes. More