The influence of exercise training on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in health and disease

Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1986;711:25-37. doi: 10.1111/j.0954-6820.1986.tb08929.x.


There is a very high probability that lipoprotein metabolism plays a central role in the etiology of coronary heart disease. In sedentary persons one way to favorably alter lipoprotein metabolism and possibly delay the progression of coronary atherosclerosis is by an increase in their habitual physical activity. More physically active persons tend to have lower plasma triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein concentrations, and a greater high-density lipoprotein mass due to higher concentrations of the subfraction HDL2 and apoprotein A-I. Plasma low-density lipoprotein concentrations usually are not significantly reduced by exercise unless accompanied by weight loss, but there may be important changes in the distribution among the low-density subfractions. These exercise effects are most likely mediated by alterations in the activity of enzymes involved in the synthesis, transport and catabolism of the various lipoproteins including lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase and lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase. In healthy persons as well as in patients with ischemic heart disease, diabetes and renal failure, an increase in moderate-intensity, endurance-type activity requiring an expenditure of approximately 4 MJ (1,000 kcal) per week usually produce favorable lipoprotein changes. Above this level a dose-response relationship exists, with greater changes occurring up to energy expenditures of 19 MJ (4,500 kcal) per week.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Education and Training*


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins