Increase in homocysteine levels after a half-marathon running: A detrimental metabolic effect of sport?

Stefano Benedini, Alice Caimi, Giampietro Alberti, Ileana Terruzzi, Nicoletta Dellerma, Antonio La Torre, Livio Luzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The homocysteine level is considered an important cardiocerebral risk factor. Our aim was to investigate the impact of endurance training on the homocysteine cycle in élite and non-élite athletes. Methods: The level of physical activity was measured using a SenseWear armband in five healthy marathon runners. Two blood samples, the first under basal conditions and the second after running a half marathon, were obtained in all subjects by venepuncture. Biochemical parameters, including total homocysteine levels, were assessed. Results: Armband data indicated that each athlete ran the half marathon keeping a race pace close to their anaerobic threshold speed. Although the run times were very different between élite and non-élite athletes, a statistically significant increase in plasma homocysteine levels (p=0. 026) was observed in all runners. Conclusion: Endurance training for 75-100 min held at a race pace close to the anaerobic threshold speed induces an increase in serum plasma homocysteine level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalSport Sciences for Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Diabetes
  • Endurance
  • Homocysteine
  • Marathon
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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