Do carbohydrates increase the magnitude of the inflammatory response
Inflammation is the body's response to tissue damage and infection and is correlated with several chronic diseases like type II diabetes. Cytokines are cell signaling proteins with multiple functions including control of inflammation. Cytokines are influenced by several factors such as carbohydrate intake and exercise. Thus, carbohydrate intake and exercise can influence inflammation. Purpose: To determine the influence of high carbohydrate intake on the inflammatory response to exercise that induces muscle damage and inflammation. Methods: The study was a cross-over design. Each subject completed a high carbohydrate condition and a high fat and protein condition. Each condition consisted of 6 sets of 10 maximal high-force eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors and extensors. The exercise was followed by a controlled diet for the first 8 hours post-exercise based on the condition. The cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1B (IL-B) were measured as indicators of local inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP) was measured as an indicator of systemic inflammation. Creatine-kinase (CK), muscle soreness, upper arm circumference, and strength loss were measured as indicators of muscle damage. Blood glucose and insulin were measured to identify differences between diets in the conditions. Results: Insulin was significantly increased in the high carbohydrate condition compared to the high fat and protein condition at 1.5, 4, and 8 hours post-exercise. Perceived soreness was elevated at all time points post-exercise in both conditions and was significantly elevated in the high carbohydrate condition compared to the high fat and protein condition. There was a main effect trend for IL-6 to be greater in the high carbohydrate condition compared to the high fat and protein condition. Il-1B was significantly increased 24 hours post-exercise in the high carbohydrate condition compared to the high fat and protein condition. Conclusion: Elevated carbohydrate intake post-exercise augmented the local inflammatory response to the exercise observed by elevated IL-1B and IL-6. The augmented inflammatory response contributed to greater perceived muscle soreness post-exercise. Further research is required to investigate this mechanism further to provide better prevention and treatment methods for chronic diseases related to inflammation.