A pediatric perspective on inflammation and oxidative stress in response to exercise
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Dr. Oded Bar-Or was a giant in the area of pediatric exercise science and made numerous contributions to the health of children around the world. He also had a significant impact on a relatively new area of pediatric exercise science -- pediatric exercise immunology. Under his supervision, some aspects of the immunobiology of exercise have been unravelled from a pediatric perspective. In general, healthy children experience less inflammatory stress in response to standardized exercise, while demonstrating an exercise-induced elevation in the anabolic cytokine IL-8. Mechanisms for the maturity- and age-dependent changes in cytokine responses to exercise are unknown, but may involve oxidative stress. Studies of oxidative stress and exercise in children are scant, but preliminary data suggests that, like the inflammatory cytokine response to exercise, children may experience less oxidative stress in response to intense exercise. We propose that the links between exercise, inflammatory and oxidative stress, and growth factors will be important to understand in the context of how exercise contributes to optimal growth and development during childhood. This understanding will be particularly relevant for childhood diseases that restrict growth.
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