Journal Papers Provocative Issues in Heart Disease Prevention


This article discusses new areas of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation research: high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and new concepts in nutrition. HIIT consists of brief periods of high-intensity exercise interspersed by periods of low-intensity exercise or rest. The optimal mode according our work (15-sec exercise intervals at peak power with passive recovery-intervals of same duration) is associated with longer total exercise time, similar time spent near VO2peak and lesser perceived exertion relative to other protocols employing longer intervals and active recovery periods. Evidence also suggests that compared to moderate-intensity continuous exercise training, HIIT has superior effects on both cardiorespiratory function and on the attenuation of multiple cardiac and peripheral abnormalities. With respect to nutrition, a growing body of evidence suggest that the gut microbiota is influenced by lifestyle choices and may play a pivotal role in modulating cardiovascular (CV) disease development. For example, recent evidence linking processed (but not unprocessed) meats to increased CV risk pointed to the gut microbial metabolite trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) as a potential culprit. In addition, altered gut microbiota could also mediate the pro-inflammatory and cardiometabolic abnormalities associated with excess added free sugar consumption, and in particular high-fructose corn syrup. Substantially more research is required, however, in order to fully understand how and which alterations in gut flora can prevent or lead to CV disease and other chronic illnesses. We conclude with thoughts about the appropriate role for HIIT in cardiovascular training and future research in the role of gut flora-directed interventions in cardiovascular prevention.

Paper Details


M. Juneau,  D. Hayami,  M. Gayda,  S. Lacroix,  A. Nigam


Canadian Journal of Cardiology


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