Effect of hypoxic training on inflammatory and metabolic risk factors: a crossover study in healthy subjects

Physiol Rep. 2014 Jan 13;2(1):e00198. doi: 10.1002/phy2.198. eCollection 2014 Jan 1.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of hypoxic physical exercise on metabolic syndrome (MS) risk markers and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) and to compare its effects on preperitoneal fat, arterial stiffness, and several blood parameters related to MS to those of a control group who trained under normoxic conditions. Fourteen healthy men were examined. Participants performed treadmill exercise 3 days per week for 4 weeks, under either normobaric hypoxic or normobaric normoxic conditions, for 50 min (including a 5-min warm-up and 5-min cool down) after a 30-min rest period. Exercise was performed at a heart rate (HR) corresponding to 60% of the HR at each individual's maximum oxygen uptake. Training under the different environmental conditions was performed 4 months apart to ensure a sufficient washout period. Waist circumference, preperitoneal fat thickness, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, and high-sensitivity CRP after training were significantly lower in the hypoxic group than in the normoxic group. Our results suggest that regular short-term hypoxic training may more effectively reduce arterial stiffness, and thus prevent arteriosclerosis, compared to training performed at a similar exercise intensity under normoxic conditions.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; high‐sensitivity C‐reactive protein; metabolic syndrome; pulse wave velocity.