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Open Access Research article

Effects of sweet cassava polysaccharide extracts on endurance exercise in rats

Chia Hung Yen1, Te Hung Tsao2*, Cheng Uan Huang3, Chang Bin Yang4 and Chung Sheng Kuo5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Pingtung University of Science & Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan

2 Physical Education Section of General Education, National Sun Yat-Sen University, No. 70, Lienhai Rd., Kaohsiung City, 80424, Taiwan

3 Department of Recreation Sport and Health Promotion, National Pingtung University of Science & Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan

4 Department of Physical Education, National Dong Hwa University, HuaLien, Taiwan

5 Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:18  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-18

Published: 28 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Sweet cassava tubers have abundant carbohydrates consisting of monosaccharides and polysaccharides. In addition, polysaccharides extracted from plants improve sports performance, according to recent studies. We therefore examined whether the administration of sweet cassava polysaccharides (SCPs) benefited endurance performance in rats

Methods

Male Sprague–Dawley rats (n = 30, 7 weeks old) were divided into three groups: control (C), exercise (Ex), and exercise plus SCPs administration (ExSCP) (at a dose of 500 mg/kg body weight by gastric intubation for six days in addition to standard rat food and water). An exercise program was implemented in the Ex and ExSCP groups for five days (with no exercise on the sixth day), and then all rats were sacrificed to determine the glycogen content of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, and the blood metabolites after the ExSCP and Ex groups had completed exhaustive running.

Results

The running time to exhaustion of the ExSCP group was significantly longer than that of the Ex group by 49% (64 vs. 43 min). After running to exhaustion, it was seen that although the glycogen content in the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of the Ex and ExSCP groups was lower compared to the C group, values in the ExSCP group were significantly higher than in the Ex group (p > 0.05). In addition, blood glucose and free fatty acid (FFA) levels were significantly higher in the ExSCP than in the Ex group (p > 0.05). However, no significant differences for blood glucose or FFA were found between the ExSCP and C groups.

Conclusions

SCP supplementation can prolong exercise endurance in rats. Higher muscle glycogen levels and stable glucose and FFA concentrations in the circulation contributed to the prolonged time to exhaustion.

Keywords:
Exhaustive running; Muscle glycogen; Blood glucose; Free fatty acids