Special Issue "Functional Foods and Natural Health Products: Implications for Health and Exercise Performance"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mojtaba Kaviani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6, Canada
Interests: macronutrient manipulations and sport performance; sport supplements and recovery; sport bars and drinks for endurance, strength, and power; functional food and weight loss; glycemic control and diabetes; active aging strategies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Functional foods are foods high in bioactive ingredients which have demonstrated health benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as adding prebiotics, probiotics, or synbiotics to foods like dairy and cereals, high-fiber food products, and more. On the other hand, natural health products (NHPs) are available in many forms, including foods, herbal products, dietary supplements, and traditional and homeopathic medicines. The safety of NHPs is not always guaranteed just because they are called “natural”. NHPs are highly interactive with medications, nutrients, and foods, and can even have toxic effects. With the recent advances in technology, the number of functional foods and NHPs are on the rise, making it difficult for various populations including healthy individuals, patients needing clinical care, and athletes to choose what would work the best for them. Investigations considering the effect of functional foods and/or NHPs on different aspects of health including cardiovascular risk factors, inflammatory markers, blood glucose control, as well as sports performance and fitness components (strength, power, endurance) are accumulating. Papers addressing these topics are invited for this Special Issue, especially those combining the usage of functional foods and/or NHPs in conjunction with any type of exercise training on health outcomes.

Dr. Mojtaba Kaviani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • functional foods
  • natural health products
  • nutrients
  • exercise training
  • healthy eating
  • lifestyle
  • obesity
  • cardiovascular disease
  • mental health
  • physical fitness
  • sport performance

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Different Doses of Carbohydrate Mouth Rinse Have No Effect on Exercise Performance in Resistance Trained Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073463 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinse has been shown to enhance aerobic endurance performance. However, the effects of CHO mouth rinse on muscular strength and endurance are mixed and may be dependent on dosage of CHO. The primary purpose was to examine the effects of [...] Read more.
Carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinse has been shown to enhance aerobic endurance performance. However, the effects of CHO mouth rinse on muscular strength and endurance are mixed and may be dependent on dosage of CHO. The primary purpose was to examine the effects of different dosages of CHO rinse on strength (bench press 1 repetition maximum [1-RM]) and muscular endurance (40% of 1-RM repetitions to failure) in female athletes. Sixteen resistance-trained females (age: 20 ± 1 years; height: 167 ± 3 cm; body mass: 67 ± 4 kg; BMI: 17 ± 2 kg/m2; resistance training experience: 2 ± 1 years) completed four conditions in random order. The four conditions consisted of a mouth rinse with 25 mL solutions containing either 6% of CHO (Low dose of CHO: LCHO), 12% CHO (Moderate dose of CHO: MCHO), 18% CHO (High dose of CHO: HCHO) or water (Placebo: PLA) for 10 s prior to a bench press strength and muscular endurance test. Maximal strength (1-RM), muscular endurance (reps and total volume), heart rate (HR), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and glucose (GLU) were recorded each condition. There were no significant differences in strength (p = 0.95) or muscular endurance (total repetitions: p = 0.06; total volume: p = 0.20) between conditions. Similarly, HR (p = 0.69), RPE (p = 0.09) and GLU (p = 0.92) did not differ between conditions. In conclusion, various doses of CHO mouth rinse (6%, 12% and 18%) have no effect on upper body muscular strength or muscular endurance in female athletes. Full article
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Review

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Review
Antioxidants and Exercise Performance: With a Focus on Vitamin E and C Supplementation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8452; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228452 - 15 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
Antioxidant supplementation, including vitamin E and C supplementation, has recently received recognition among athletes as a possible method for enhancing athletic performance. Increased oxidative stress during exercise results in the production of free radicals, which leads to muscle damage, fatigue, and impaired performance. [...] Read more.
Antioxidant supplementation, including vitamin E and C supplementation, has recently received recognition among athletes as a possible method for enhancing athletic performance. Increased oxidative stress during exercise results in the production of free radicals, which leads to muscle damage, fatigue, and impaired performance. Despite their negative effects on performance, free radicals may act as signaling molecules enhancing protection against greater physical stress. Current evidence suggests that antioxidant supplementation may impair these adaptations. Apart from athletes training at altitude and those looking for an immediate, short-term performance enhancement, supplementation with vitamin E does not appear to be beneficial. Moreover, the effectiveness of vitamin E and C alone and/or combined on muscle mass and strength have been inconsistent. Given that antioxidant supplements (e.g., vitamin E and C) tend to block anabolic signaling pathways, and thus, impair adaptations to resistance training, special caution should be taken with these supplements. It is recommended that athletes consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which provides vitamins, minerals phytochemicals, and other bioactive compounds to meet the recommended intakes of vitamin E and C. Full article
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Review
Benefits of Creatine Supplementation for Vegetarians Compared to Omnivorous Athletes: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3041; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093041 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6215
Abstract
Background: Creatine monohydrate is a nutritional supplement often consumed by athletes in anaerobic sports. Creatine is naturally found in most meat products; therefore, vegetarians have reduced creatine stores and may benefit from supplementation. Objective: to determine the effects of creatine supplementation on vegetarians. [...] Read more.
Background: Creatine monohydrate is a nutritional supplement often consumed by athletes in anaerobic sports. Creatine is naturally found in most meat products; therefore, vegetarians have reduced creatine stores and may benefit from supplementation. Objective: to determine the effects of creatine supplementation on vegetarians. Data sources: PubMed and SPORTDiscus. Eligibility criteria: Randomized controlled trials (parallel group, cross-over studies) or prospective studies. Participants: Vegetarians. Intervention: Creatine supplementation. Study appraisal and synthesis: A total of 64 records were identified, and eleven full-text articles (covering nine studies) were included in this systematic review. Results: Creatine supplementation in vegetarians increased total creatine, creatine, and phosphocreatine concentrations in vastus lateralis and gastrocnemius muscle, plasma, and red blood cells, often to levels greater than omnivores. Creatine supplementation had no effect on brain levels of phosphocreatine. Creatine supplementation increased lean tissue mass, type II fiber area, insulin-like growth factor-1, muscular strength, muscular endurance, Wingate mean power output, and brain function (memory and intelligence) in vegetarian participants. Studies were mixed on whether creatine supplementation improved exercise performance in vegetarians to a greater extent compared to omnivores. Limitations: Studies that were reviewed had moderate–high risk of bias. Conclusions: Overall, it appears vegetarian athletes are likely to benefit from creatine supplementation. Full article
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