J Food Biochem. 2022 Sep 17:e14417. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.14417. Online ahead of print.
Hemp seed and physical activity (PA) have many benefits for the metabolic and brain health of the body. This study investigated the effects of hemp seed alone and aerobic exercise on metabolic markers, oxidative stress, and neurotrophic factors in young sedentary men. This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial was conducted on 48 sedentary young men in Tabriz, Iran, from April to August. The researcher in this study randomized all participants into four groups, including (1) hemp seed, (2) hemp seed + PA, (3) PA + placebo, and (4) placebo. Hemp seed supplement was administered in two 1-g capsules daily, and aerobic PA was performed a week thrice. Levels of anthropometric indices, dietary intake, antioxidant markers, lipid profile, fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index (QUICKI), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neuropeptide Y (NPY), balance, reaction time, and sit-ups were evaluated for all participants at baseline and post-intervention. We used ANOVA and ANCOVA analysis to compare oxidative stress and neurotropic factors in all intervention groups. If the distribution of the response variable was not normal, the non-parametric equivalent of these tests was used (Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests). We performed all statistical analyzes using SPSS software version 23, and the significance level was considered 0.05 in all the statistical tests. Aerobic PA with hemp seed consumption caused a significant difference in weight, body mass index, fat mass, high-density lipoprotein, catalase, and BDNF compared with baseline. Also, aerobic PA alone caused significant changes in body weight, fat mass, and triglyceride compared with baseline. Consumption of hemp seeds alone caused a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein levels compared with baseline. At the end of the study, fat mass, total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and BDNF were significantly different between the groups. According to our results, aerobic PA combined with hemp seed consumption may improve anthropometric indices, lipid profile, and BDNF and improve health outcomes like cardiovascular comorbidities, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: A sedentary lifestyle has numerous health-threatening consequences like cardiovascular comorbidities, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. The importance of physical activity (PA) in improving these clinical manifestations is well-known; however, the potential benefits of herbal therapy combined with PA in reducing the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle have not been well studied. In the current research, we evaluated the benefits of hemp seed alone and combined with aerobic exercise on metabolic markers, oxidative stress, and neurotrophic factors in young sedentary men for the first time. According to our results, aerobic PA combined with hemp seed consumption improved anthropometric indices, lipid profile, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor among young sedentary men.