Marywood Receives Grant for Research Study

By Sara Tompkins
Staff Writer

As the school year comes to a close, Marywood is celebrating not only a successful school year but also an exciting award to be sent their way. Naturex, Inc., a company that deals with natural and organic products, has awarded Dr. James Smoliga a $155,000 research contract to study polyphenol supplement’s outcome on an athlete’s performance.

Dr. Smoliga, the assistant professor of Exercise Physiology to the College of Human and Health Services, will be conducting the research study throughout the upcoming summer and in the fall, if needed. The research will be performed in the Human Physiology Laboratory, overlooked by Dr. Kenneth Rundell, Professor of Health Science.

Polyphenol supplements, which are composed of grape skins and plant antioxidants, will be used in the study to determine their effect on human performance in athletes. The supplements have been said to improve athletic ability and overall health. The experiment will entail checking blood oxygen levels, as well as the function of the muscles during the research under the supplementation. The study will need 30 athletes to perform during the research and will not end until that is finished.

“This study is the first of its kind to evaluate the effects of polyphenol supplementation blood parameters of antioxidant and inflammation status, physiologic responses to exercise, and endurance performance,” Dr. Smoliga explains. “The subjects of this study are endurance trained athletes, such as runners, cyclists, and tri-athletes, who perform high-intensity aerobic exercise on a regular basis.”

The funding from the grant will be used to better equip the lab for the research. Also, it will help with providing the laboratory with revolutionary equipment that can be used for teaching purposes, as well as future studies that would take place at Marywood.

Dr. Smoliga has high-hopes for the upcoming event. “When presented at national and international meetings, this study will further enhance the university’s reputation, as well as the surrounding community.”