The Effect of Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Inflammation and Performance-Related Indices in Trained Athletes: A Double-Blinded Crossover Study

Irit Markus, Evyatar Ohayon, Keren Constantini, Keren Geva-Kleinberger, Rawan Ibrahim, Angela Ruban*, Yftach Gepner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous investigations have demonstrated the therapeutic advantages of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) in mitigating inflammation and influencing biological processes. We aimed to shed light on the effects of ELF-EMF on recovery rate following high-intensity exercise. Nine male athletes (26.7 ± 6.0 years; 69.6 ± 7.7 kg, VO2peak 57.3 ± 6.8 mL/kg/min) completed five visits in a double-blinded crossover design, performing two consecutive testing days, following a ventilatory thresholds assessment. Following 62 min of high-intensity cycling, participants lay on an ELF-EMF mattress under active (A) and non-active (NA) conditions, immediately post protocol and during the night. Physical performance and blood markers were assessed at baseline and at 60 min (60 P) and 24 h (24 H) post-protocol. The A-condition demonstrated a notable reduction in interleukin-10 (IL-10) concentrations (mean difference = −88%, p = 0.032) and maximal isometric strength of the quadriceps muscles (mean difference = ~8%, p = 0.045) compared to the NA-condition between 60 P and 24 H. In a sensitivity analysis, the A-condition revealed that younger athletes who possessed lower fat mass experienced attenuated inflammation and biochemical responses and improved physical performance. In conclusion, ELF-EMF showed no significant overall effects on performance and inflammation after intense cycling among athletes. Post-hoc analysis revealed modest benefits of ELF-MLF, suggesting a context-dependent impact. Further research with a larger sample size and multiple sessions is needed to confirm the recovery potential of ELF-EMF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13463
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume24
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Inc.

    Keywords

    • athletes
    • extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields
    • inflammation
    • performance
    • recovery

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