Does a 45-minute walk have the same effect on the digestion and circulation of healthful flavonoids in the body as a 2.5-hour run?

Researchers in Kannapolis need some walkers and runners to help answer that question.

Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Laboratory on the N.C. Research Campus (NCRC) is recruiting at least 30 more male and female walkers and runners this month for the ongoing study, already under way.

The study will measure plasma levels of flavonoids, the health-promoting compounds found in fruits and vegetables.

[VIDEO: Watch a video report about the lab at ]

Bacteria in the large intestine break down flavonoids into smaller molecules that can pass back into the blood and circulate through the body, producing healthful effects.

Previous research conducted by David Nieman, Dr.PH, director of the Human Performance Laboratory, showed that running improves the transfer of the small flavonoid molecules from the colon back into the body. The new study will determine if a 45-minute walk has a comparable effect.

The study will test 85 walkers and 25 runners who are healthy males or females between 18 and 50 years old. People who complete the study will receive $275.

Volunteers must have a regular history of walking more than 100 minutes per week and be capable of walking 45 minutes briskly on a treadmill. Runners must have a history of participating in 10 km to 42.2 km races and be capable of running for 2.5 hours on a treadmill.

Volunteers will visit the ASU laboratory at the NCRC four times, taking a total of five to six hours.

During the first visit to the lab, volunteers will receive baseline fitness testing and an orientation. After two weeks of taking a supplement or a placebo, volunteers will visit the lab twice within 24 hours to either be in a group that walks or rests in the laboratory.

A comparative group of 20-25 runners will ingest the flavonoid supplement for two weeks and then run 2.5 hours on treadmills in the lab. Volunteers will also collect urine for 24 hours, provide four blood samples and keep one, three-day food record.

For more information or to sign up for the study, email

The mission of the NCRC is to improve human health through nutrition and exercise. The scientific community of eight universities, including ASU, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, global companies and entrepreneurs focus research and development on safer, more nutritious crops, healthier foods and precision nutrition.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center