The Influence of Competitive Activity on Selected Biochemical and Haematological Parameters of Amateur Soccer Athletes

By Athanasios, Souglis; Antonios, Travlos K. | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, March 2015 | Go to article overview

The Influence of Competitive Activity on Selected Biochemical and Haematological Parameters of Amateur Soccer Athletes


Athanasios, Souglis, Antonios, Travlos K., Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Soccer is a very dynamic and demanding sport, which requires high level aerobic capacity and considerable energy reserves (Bangsbo, 1994; Reilly & Borrie, 1992). During competitive activity, athletes receive great strains with an impact on physical health and body function, significantly affecting their performance (Souglis et al., 2013). Moreover, during a match, soccer players experience large fluctuation in activity level, with high intensity periods, such as fast running, jumps, tackling and fast changes of direction, alternating with periods of low and medium intensity movement (Ekblom, 1996). The soccer players intense anaerobic efforts combined with 1vs.1-type competitive situations (duels), during which opponents come into physical contact to gain control of the ball, play a significant role for footballers' haematological and biochemical status (Souglis, 2014). One such haematological and biochemical profile demonstrating damage to muscular tissue has been reported in haematological and biochemical studies on athletes participating in heavy physical activities, especially middle and long distance runners (Bangsbo et al., 1991; Dufaux et al., 1981; Deitrik, 1991).

One of the main inflammation parameters studied in relation to cardiovascular disease is C-Reactive Pprotein (CRP), an acute phase protein, already identified in 2004 as an independent risk factor for coronary disease by the American Heart Association (Pearson et al., 2004). Although it is well known that medium to high intensity exercise causes a transient increase in the plasma pre-inflammatory cytokine levels, as well as in acute phase proteins such as CRP, long-term, systematic exercise is linked to lower values of both pre-inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins in the blood of such exercising people (Moldoveanu et al., 2001). Colbert et al. (2004) have shown that daily exercising 70 to 79-year-old senior people, irrespective of gender, had lower CRP levels as compared to their peers who performed no physical activities. Albert et al. (2004) have concluded the same after studying a similar age group, with the correlation being significantly lower, mainly concerning the study male sample.

Another important biochemical marker is Myocardial Creatine Kinase (CK-MB), a myocardial isoenzyme (myocardial lesion marker). The effect of exercise is very important. König et al. (2003) investigating myocardial stress after a competitive bicycle race through measuring changes in biochemical markers, such as CK-MB, in combination with attentive heart examinations, found that CK-MB was considerably increased after the race, although none of the bikers showed pathological findings. The results have shown that a high percentage of professional footballers subjected to unusually intense exercise demonstrated an increase of plasma CK-MB. Moreover, a study by Jaffe et al. (1984) found CK-MB increase after intense exercise during a football match in 7 out of 9 people measured; however, there were no clinical results of myocardial injury. Lippi et al. (2008 investigated the impact of a 21-kilometre run on Caucasian athletes, over parameters demonstrating muscular and cardiac lesion, such as CK-MB, found considerable increase in parameter concentrations post-race as compared to pre-race. CK-MB values were 1.2 times higher than pre-exercise status, which shows the heavy impact of submaximum aerobic exercise on the CK-MB biochemical marker.

Lipoprotein-α Lp(α) often increases in patients with diabetes, hypothyroidism, chronic renal failure who demonstrate microalbuminuria, and it decreases in patients with hepatic failure and hypothyroidism. Lp(α) plasma levels are affected by gender, age, diet and physical exercise. Specifically, in a study by Randall et al. (2004) on obese African Americans, a 20% increase of Lp(α) was noted after a three-month exercise and diet programme. Intervention studies show that 9 to 12 months of heavy exercise may increase Lp(α) serum levels; however, these changes are generally small (10 to 15%) and, for most people, Lp(α) serum levels remain low. …

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