Does Ibuprofen Help or Hurt During Exercise?

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Read the attached article and determine the following of the research it is reporting:

  • hypothesis:What is the question of this research?
  • dependent variable:
  • independent variable
  • experimental group
  • control group


Does Ibuprofen Help or Hurt During Exercise?

By Gretchen Reynolds

New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com),

Several years ago, David Nieman set out to study racers at the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile test of human stamina held annually in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The race directors had asked Nieman, a well-regarded physiologist and director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus, to study the effect of over the counter ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkiller (or NSAIDs) on runners.The researcher was interested in if these racers displayed more inflammation and other markers of high immune system response afterward than the runners who hadn’t taken the NSAIDs.

Athletes at all levels and in a wide variety of sports swear by their painkillers. A study published earlier this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that, at the 2008 Ironman Triathlon in Brazil, almost 60 percent of the racers reported using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers at some point in the three months before the event, with almost half downing pills during the race itself. In another study, about 13 percent of participants in a 2002 marathon in New Zealand had popped NSAIDs before the race. A study of professional Italian soccer players found that 86 percent used anti-inflammatories during the 2002-2003 season.

Nieman and his associates found NSAIDs did not lessen people’s perception of pain during activity or decrease muscle soreness later. “We had researchers at water stops” during the Western States event, Nieman says, asking all the racers how the hours of exertion felt to them. “There was no difference between the runners using ibuprofen and those who weren’t. So the painkillers were not useful for reducing pain” during the long race, he says, and afterward, the runners using ibuprofen reported having legs that were just as sore as those who hadn’t used the drugs. However, the ibuprofen users displayed more inflammation and other markers of high immune system response.They also showed signs of mild kidney impairment and, both before and after the race, of low-level endotoxemia, a condition in which bacteria leak from the colon into the bloodstream

Moreover, Warden and other researchers have found that, in laboratory experiments on animal tissues, NSAIDs actually slowed the healing of injured muscles, tendons, ligament, and bones. “NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins,”substances that are involved in pain and also in the creation of collagen, Warden says. Collagen is the building block of most tissues. So fewer prostaglandins mean less collagen, “which inhibits the healing of tissue and bone injuries,” Warden says, including the micro-tears and other trauma to muscles and tissues that can occur after any strenuous workout or race.

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