Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Collaboration with Japan in exercise physiology

Dr Brynmor Breese recently received a travel grant from the UK Physiological Society to undertake a research project at Kobe University in Japan investigating the effects of nitrate supplementation on muscle deoxygenation responses during exercise. This project is the first of its kind to use innovative time-resolved spectroscopy (TRS) across multiple sites within quadriceps muscle to further explore the promising effects that have been reported during exercise after ingesting nitrate-rich beetroot juice. The research study was delivered under the supervision of Professor Shunsaku Koga and consisted of performing thirty-two exercise trials using human volunteers after consuming four days of either nitrate-rich beetroot or placebo juice (supplied by James White Drinks, Ipswich, UK). The TRS system was developed by Hamamatsu Photonics and is capable of measuring the absorption and scattering of near-infrared light emitted at different wavelengths into skeletal muscle tissue. Using this technology enables the quantification of absolute concentrations of deoxygenated hemoglobin/myoglobin which, in turn, can yield important information on the levels of oxygen being circulated in the bloodstream in relation to the muscles increased energy demand when we exercise. It is hoped this data will enhance our understanding of how dietary factors may play an important role regulating local blood flow which becomes impaired as we age or from cardiovascular disease and therefore contributes to the poorer exercise capacity observed in these states.