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Spleen Contraction and Hb Increase after Nitrate Ingestion may Explain Enhanced Apneic Diving Performance
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences. LHL Klinikkene Roros, Roros, Norway.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
2017 (English)In: Acta Physiologica, ISSN 1748-1708, E-ISSN 1748-1716, Vol. 219, no S710, 32-32 p., P-42Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Ingesting nitrate-rich beetroot juice (BJ) has been suggested to enhance physical performance by reducing the oxygen cost, which could be useful in apneic diving. We previously found that after ingestion of BJ, arterial oxygen saturation was higher after static apneas (Engan et.al, Resp. Physiol & Neurobiol, 2012) and after dynamic apneas involving exercise (Patrician & Schagatay. Scand.J.Med.Sci.Sports, 2016). Our aim was to investigate the effect of BJ ingestion on spleen contraction and the resulting Hb increase, a mechanism known to prolong apneas (Schagatay et.al, J.Appl.Physiol, 2001).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight volunteers aged 24±2 years simulated diving by performing maximal apneas with face immersion during prone rest ~2.5h after ingesting 70 ml BJ (5 mmol NO3-) or placebo (0.003 mmol NO3-) on separate days in a weighted order. We measured spleen diameters for volume calculation and capillary Hb before and after "dives".

RESULTS: Baseline (mean±SE) spleen volume was 269±33 mL with placebo and 206±27 mL after BJ ingestion (P<0.05). Post "dive" spleen volumes were smaller, but similar at 168±35 mL and 193±25 mL, respectively (NS). Baseline Hb was 145.4±3.4 g/L with placebo and 149.8±2.6 g/L with BJ (P<0.05). Post "dive" Hb had increased to 152.0±4.8 g/L with placebo and 153.7±3.0 g/L with BJ (NS). 

CONCLUSION: With BJ ingestion spleen volume was reduced and Hb elevated even before the "dive". The elevated Hb at the start of apnea would likely have a positive effect on apneic duration by enhancing circulating oxygen stores. The positive effect of nitrate on performance in various sports could in part be due to its spleen-emptying effect, causing a natural blood boosting, which is a novel finding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 219, no S710, 32-32 p., P-42
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29758ISI: 000393916600067OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-29758DiVA: diva2:1059270
Conference
Scandinavian Physiological Society Meeting in Oslo, Norway, 26-28 August 2016
Available from: 2016-12-22 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2017-03-23Bibliographically approved

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