Effect of Different Exercise Training Modalities on Fasting Levels of Oxylipins and Endocannabinoids in Middle-Aged Sedentary Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2022 Mar 26;32(4):275-284. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2021-0332. Print 2022 Jul 1.


This study aimed to investigate the effects of different exercise training programs on fasting plasma levels of oxylipins, endocannabinoids (eCBs), and eCBs-like molecules in middle-aged sedentary adults. A 12-week randomized controlled trial was conducted using a parallel group design. Sixty-five middle-aged adults (40-65 years old) were randomly assigned to: (a) no exercise (control group), (b) concurrent training based on international physical activity recommendations (PAR group), (c) high-intensity interval training (HIIT group), and (d) HIIT together with whole-body electromyostimulation (HIIT + EMS group). Plasma levels of oxylipins, eCBs, and eCBs-like molecules were determined in plasma samples before and after the intervention using targeted lipidomics. Body composition was assessed through dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and dietary intake through a food frequency questionnaire and three nonconsecutive 24-hr recalls. The physical activity recommendations, HIIT, and HIIT-EMS groups showed decreased plasma levels of omega-6 and omega-3-derived oxylipins, and eCBs and eCBs-like molecules after 12 weeks (all Δ ≤ -0.12; all p < .05). Importantly, after Bonferroni post hoc corrections, the differences in plasma levels of omega-6 and omega-3 oxylipins were not statistically significant compared with the control group (all p > .05). However, after post hoc corrections, plasma levels of anandamide and oleoylethanolamide were increased in the physical activity recommendations group compared with the control group (anandamide: Δ = 0.05 vs. -0.09; oleoylethanolamide: Δ = -0.12 vs. 0.013, all p ≤ .049). In conclusion, this study reports that a 12-week exercise training intervention, independent of the modality applied, does not modify fasting plasma levels of omega-6 and omega-3 oxylipins, eCBs, and eCBs-like molecules in middle-aged sedentary adults.

Keywords: HIIT; PUFA; WB-EMS; concurrent training; inflammation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Fasting
  • High-Intensity Interval Training*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxylipins*


  • Endocannabinoids
  • Oxylipins