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The effects of acute and regular exercise on substrate utilization, oxidative stress and hormone levels in adult PKU patients

The effects of acute and regular exercise on substrate utilization, oxidative stress and hormone levels in adult PKU patients
  • Endocrinology and metabolism
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Dr Priscila Mazzola's research involved two PKU centers, one in Brazil and one in The Netherlands, where she studied the effects of exercise in PKU.

Publications emerging from Dr. Mazzola's research:

It has already been demonstrated in animal models and patients that a high blood-Phe level leads to oxidative stress and amino acid imbalance. Oxidative stress is reached when the production of reactive species in cells overloads the capacity for removal.

Physical exercise has been seen as useful in preventing oxidative stress and improving neurotransmitter functions in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. Could physical exercise be of benefit to PKU patients in the same way?

Although one exercise session can increase reactive species due to the increased metabolic demand, regular exercise results in adaptations of peripheral and central systems, reducing oxidative stress.

In order to include exercise as a strategy in improving PKU treatment this project, sponsored by the PKU Academy, was designed in two parts:

  • part one aimed to verify acute exercise effects on oxidative stress, hormonal and metabolic parameters in PKU patients from Porto Alegre in Brazil
  • part two was performed in Groningen (The Netherlands) by using the PKU mouse model with the purpose of evaluating regular exercise effects on oxidative stress and hormonal markers.

With these data it was possible to assess what just one exercise session does in biochemical parameters in PKU patients and whether they are affected by exercise in a different way in comparison to non-PKU individuals.



1 - Dr Priscila Nicolao Mazzola (Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)

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