Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Oral post-exercise garlic extract supplementation enhances glycogen replenishment but does not up-regulate mitochondria biogenesis mRNA expression in human-exercised skeletal muscle.

PURPOSE: Garlic extract (GA) is purported to enhance antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and glucose regulation in humans. The present study investigated the effects of post-exercise GA supplementation on GLUT4 expression, glycogen replenishment, and the transcript factors involved with mitochondrial biosynthesis in exercised human skeletal muscle.

METHODS: The single-blinded crossover counterbalanced study was completed by 12 participants. Participants were randomly divided into either GA (2000 mg of GA) or placebo trials immediately after completing a single bout of cycling exercise at 75% Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max ) for 60 minutes. Participants consumed either GA (2000 mg) or placebo capsules with a high glycemic index carbohydrate meal (2 g carb/body weight) immediately after exercise. Muscle samples were collected at 0-h and 3-h post-exercise. Muscle samples were used to measure glycogen levels, GLUT4 protein expression, as well as transcription factors for glucose uptake, and mitochondria biogenesis. Plasma glucose, insulin, glycerol, non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were also analyzed during the post-exercise recovery periods.

RESULTS: Skeletal muscle glycogen replenishment was significantly elevated during the 3-h recovery period for GA concurrent with no difference in GLUT4 protein expression between the garlic and placebo trials. PGC1-α gene expression was up-regulated for both GA and placebo after exercise ( p  < 0.05). Transcript factors corresponding to muscle mitochondrial biosynthesis were significantly enhanced under acute garlic supplementation as demonstrated by TFAM and FIS1. However, the gene expression of SIRT1, ERRα, NFR1, NFR2, MFN1, MFN2, OPA1, Beclin-1, DRP1 were not enhanced, nor were there any improvements in GLUT4 expression, following post-exercise garlic supplementation.

CONCLUSION: Acute post-exercise garlic supplementation may improve the replenishment of muscle glycogen, but this appears to be unrelated to the gene expression for glucose uptake and mitochondrial biosynthesis in exercised human skeletal muscle.

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