Low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise training modulates irritable bowel syndrome through antioxidative and inflammatory mechanisms in women: Results of a randomized controlled trial

Cytokine. 2018 Feb;102:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2017.12.016. Epub 2017 Dec 21.


Our aim was to explore the putative beneficial effects of low-to-moderate intensity exercise training program in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study evaluated the changes in blood oxidative stress status, inflammatory biomarkers and IBS severity symptoms following 24 weeks of moderate aerobic exercise in sedentary IBS patients. A total of 109 female volunteers (aged 18-41 yrs) who fulfilled Rome III criteria for the diagnosis of IBS were screened and 60 were randomized to exercise (EX, n = 30) and non-exercise (NON-EX, n = 30) groups. Exercise intervention favorably attenuated inflammation as indicated by plasma cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-α), adenosine deaminase, oxidative stress (XO, MDA and NO) and enhanced antioxidants (SOD, CAT and GSH-Px) (P < .05), and these alterations correlate with promising improvements in IBS symptoms (P < .05). Taken together, low-to-moderate intensity exercise training program attenuates symptoms in IBS. Symptom improvement was associated with a reversal of the ratio of anti- to pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as facilitating blood redox homeostasis, suggesting an immune- and redox modulating function for exercise training.

Keywords: Exercise intervention; Inflammation; Irritable bowel syndrome; Oxidative stress; Randomized controlled trial; Redox homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / blood
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines