Studies have shown that exercises that are anaerobic and produce lactate affect the level of Brain-derived neurotrophic family (BDNF). This study aimed to evaluate and compare the effects of anaerobic gymnastics exercise on salivary BDNF levels in obese and normal-weight boys.
Materials and Methods: In this semi-experimental study, sixty subjects with age range of 8 to 12 years old who enrolled in the elementary level of gymnastics participated in this study and were randomly divided into four groups [(obese experimental group, n=15), (obese control group, n= 15), (normal weight experimental group, n= 15), and (normal weight control group, n=15)]. Experimental groups performed 45 minutes anaerobic gymnastics exercise including 10-minute warm up, 30-minutes of main exercises, and 5 minutes cool down, 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Body composition characteristics and the levels of salivary BDNF were measured before and after 8 weeks of training. Significance was set at p ≤ 0.05 for all analyses.
Results: The mean and standard deviations of the subjects’ age in this study was 9.89±1.36 years. According to the results we found significant changes (p <0.05) following AGE in obese group (BDNF = +33.80%, p=0.002, weight= -8.09%, p=0.001, body fat%= -12.81, p=0.001, body fat weight= -19.38, p=0.001, lean body weight= -3.20, p=0.001), and in normal-weight group just (BDNF= +31.36%, p=0.003). Significant differences were found among obese and normal-weight groups in weight, body fat%, body fat weight, and BDNF (p˂0.05).
Eight weeks anaerobic gymnastic training induces an increase in salivary BDNF levels in obese and normal-weight groups. Moreover, we demonstrated that weight decreased after our training protocol in obese children.