Theses and Dissertations


John Lamberth

Committee Member

Wen-Hsing Cheng

Committee Member

Megan E. Holmes

Committee Member

JohnEric W. Smith

Committee Member

Carrie K. Vance

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Exercise Physiology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Kinesiology


Occupational health surveys reported that first responders such as firefighters (FF) have some of the highest levels of cardiovascular disease in the nation from poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Three studies were established with goals to identify oxidative stress (OS) biomarkers and improve cardiovascular health for FF including: 1) a 28-day-carbohydrate restricted diet (CRD), 2) a heat-house search and clear protocol in personal protection equipment (PPE) plus curcumin supplementation, and 3) a treadmill exercise protocol in PPE with ketone salt supplementation. During those studies, stored blood plasma subsamples were evaluated for targeted antioxidants or untargeted metabolite concentration fluctuations using 1H NMR. Results from the 28-day-CRD tracked 40 metabolites consistently pre- and post-diet using 1H NMR platform. Of these metabolites’ acetone, β-hydroxybutyrate, leucine, and valine significantly upregulated while isoleucine downregulated. The plasma from the curcumin supplementation study contained 34 metabolites that were consistently identified. Lactate significantly upregulated immediate after exercise but returned to pre-exercise levels at 30 min post exercise while all the other metabolites were similar. From the ketone salt study 38 metabolites that were consistently identified from the pre- and post-exercise samples. Mean concentrations of acetone and β-hydroxybutyrate were significantly upregulated as were leucine and valine pre- and post-exercise while isoleucine downregulated. Lactate increased with ketone salt ingestion post-exercise and up to 30 min post-exercise but returned to normal at 24 h post-exercise compared to pre-exercise levels. Six other metabolites significantly differed in concentrations when compared across sampling times with no discernable impacts to OS or other notable trends. Multivariate analyses using principal components analysis (PCA), partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and orthogonal partial least squares-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) models were not supported using cross-validation for Q2 coefficients and permutations values at p ≤ 0.05. From these results no metabolites were shown to support transient OS suppression.