Effect of endurance training on plasma free fatty acid turnover and oxidation during exercise

W. H. Martin, G. P. Dalsky, B. F. Hurley, D. E. Matthews, D. M. Bier, J. M. Hagberg, M. A. Rogers, D. S. King, J. O. Holloszy

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Plasma free fatty acid (FFA) levels tend to be lower and the plasma lipolytic hormone response to prolonged exercise of the same intensity is blunted after endurance exercise training. To determine whether training elicits a corresponding decrease in plasma FFA turnover and metabolism during prolonged exercise, we measured plasma [1-13C]palmitate kinetics and oxidation and respiratory gas exchange in 13 subjects during the latter portion of a 90- to 120-min bout of cycle ergometer work performed before and after 12 wk of alternate-day cycling and running. Training increased total fat oxidation during prolonged exercise by 41% (P < 0.005). However, for the final 30-60 min of the cycle ergometer protocol, the rate of 13CO2 production from [1-13C]palmitate oxidation was 27% lower (P < 0.05), the rate of palmitate turnover was 33% less (P < 0.05), and plasma FFA and glycerol concentrations were 32 and 20% lower (P < 0.05), respectively, than in the untrained state. Thus endurance exercise training results in decreased plasma FFA turnover and oxidation during a 90- to 120-min bout of submaximal exercise because of a slower rate of FFA release from adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E708-E714
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 28-5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


  • exercise training
  • fat oxidation
  • palmitate kinetics

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