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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 1654148, 6 pages
Research Article

Immunological Modulation in Long-Term Karate Practitioners

1Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología, Universidad de Málaga, Andalucía Tech, Málaga, Spain
2Departamento de Cirugía, Universidad de Málaga, Andalucía Tech, Málaga, Spain
3Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Laboratorio, AGS Este de Málaga-Axarquía, Málaga, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Juan M. Manzaneque; se.amu@euqenaznam

Received 23 December 2017; Revised 2 May 2018; Accepted 25 May 2018; Published 26 June 2018

Academic Editor: Manel Santafe

Copyright © 2018 Juan M. Manzaneque et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Karate is a Japanese martial arts system with potential physical and psychological benefits. However, karate has been scarcely investigated from a psychobiological perspective, and its effects on the immune system remain virtually unknown. We designed the present study with the aim of analyzing the effects of karate practice on immunological parameters. 27 healthy male volunteer subjects participated in the study, 15 in the experimental group and 12 in the control. Experimental subjects were all karate players who had practiced this martial art for a minimum of three years attending regular lessons at a karate training center, in the evening, two to three days per week. Blood samples for the quantification of immunological parameters (total leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, IgG, IgA, and IgM) were taken in both groups. A t-test for independent groups was performed in each dependent variable; a value of p<0.05 was considered to be significant. Karate practitioners exhibited a significantly higher number of total leukocytes (p<0.02), monocytes (p<0.01), and lymphocytes (p<0.01), a higher percentage of monocytes (p<0.01), and greater serum concentrations of IgG (p<0.02) and IgM (p<0.01). Our findings show that long-term karate practice is related to a broad modulation of immune parameters, including total and specific leukocyte counts, as well as immunoglobulin concentrations. This peculiar immunomodulatory profile, apart from its psychobiological relevance, may have noteworthy clinical implications.