Effects of physical activity on serum cholesterol metabolism

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Dawson1 was one of the first investigators to suggest exercise as a therapeutic agent as well as a preventive measure for circulatory diseases. His description is given verbatim.

Patients with arterial sclerosis were placed upon a seesaw and gradually tipped up and down. Their symptoms, confusion and headache and their objective signs, color and mental condition were improved. Thus, one is led to ask, might not these gentle oscillations be duplicated in light calisthenics and might not the latter tend to prevent as well as alleviate the condition?

Physical conditioning and physical fitness have been given much attention in the United States in recent years. Research interests have been stimulated by the recognition of the association of obesity, hyperlipemia, and coronary heart disease (CHD) to the lack of physical activity. The volume of research in this area in the past 2 decades is overwhelming. This review will be divided into epidemiologic, human experimental and animal experimental findings on the effects of physical activity on serum cholesterol metabolism.

Epidemiologic research

Although there are abundant population studies demonstrating the correlation between the incidences of angina pectoris, development of myocardial infarctions (MI), or deaths from CHD and physical activity or inactivity, this section will be primarily limited to the association between cholesterol level and physical activity. Heyden,2 Fox and Haskell,3 Fox and Skinner,4 Holloszy,5 and Hein and Ryan6 have reviewed the effects of physical activity or inactivity on MI or CHD.

Although the literature on the effect of exercise on decreased incidences of . .



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