Background: The aim this work was to study the effects of acute exercise on plasma homocysteine level.
Methods: Twenty healthy, physically active males aged 24-39 (X = 29) ran on treadmill at an intensity of 70% of their maximal heart for 30 minutes. Blood was taken before, immediately following and 30 minutes following the exercise bout.
Results: There was no statistically significant relationship between pre-exercise plasma homocysteine levels and VO2 max (r = -0.05). Plasma homocysteine significantly increased 11.5% from the pre-exercise to 11.6 +/- 3.3 mumol.L-1 immediate post exercise levels. Thirty minutes postexercise plasma homocysteine was still elevated from pre-exercise levels, however the mean of 11.2 +/- 2.9 mumol.L-1 was not statistically different from pre-exercise values. The increase in homocysteine that occurred with 30 minutes of exercise is thought to be the result of hemoconcentration as indicated by changes in plasma albumin. Plasma albumin likewise paralleled the changes observed for homocysteine. Mean pre-exercise plasma albumin values were 42.9 +/- 2.9 g.L-1. Plasma albumin significantly increased 6.9% to 45.8 +/- 2.4 g.L-1 immediately post-exercise. Thirty minutes post exercise plasma albumin was still elevated from pre-exercise levels at 44.8 +/- 5.4 g.L-1. When the homocysteine plasma levels were adjusted for changes in plasma albumin, there was no statistical difference between any of the time points.
Conclusions: It was concluded that acute exercise does not have any effect on plasma homocysteine in young healthy men aged 24-39.