Helge Group – Integrative Exercise Physiology

The key focus areas are adaptation to physical activity and inactivity and nutritional intake with a particular emphasis on maximal fat oxidation, ageing, gender, obesity and insulin resistance. The group has done a number of field studies with a broad perspective on prolonged excessive exercise, elite sports performance and long-term lifestyle intervention.


The key focus of the lab revolves around the handling, storage, function and oxidation of lipids in the context of:

  • Fat oxidation/maximal fat oxidation and metabolic flexibility/fitness
  • Obesity – lifestyle interventions and maintenance of lifestyle changes
  • Insulin resistance – Bioactive lipids in muscle and mechanisms in man
  • Inflammation in adipose tissue and low grade inflammation

We apply both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs focusing on training, weight loss, gender, insulin resistance and age in human experiments


Whole body:

  • Body composition Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA scan)
  • Fat oxidation at rest and during exercise (Maximal fat oxidation)
  • Maximal oxygen uptake VO2max (bike, treadmill, skiing ergometer)
  • Assessment of VO2max using a medical device Seismofit (Ventriject A/S)
  • Assessment of endurance capacity (yo-Yo tests, treadmill, etc.)


Tissue analysis

  • Muscle biopsies (substrates, enzymes, lipidomics)
  • Mitochondrial function (collaboration with Assoc. prof. Steen Larsen)
  • Adipose tissue biopsies (inflammation & macrophages)



In analysis

  • Effects of short term adaptation to 3 days of fat or carbohydrate rich diet on MFO
  • Effects of 72 hours fasting on MFO and Mitochondrial coupling in young and old men

In process

  • The variation in physiological training parameters across an annual cycle in elite athletes
  • HF-IHF. Is it possible to estimate VO2max in patients with Ischemic heart disease or Heart Failure.
  • Effects of glycogen content on MFO and Mitochondrial coupling in young men
  • Influence of BMI and age on adipose tissue extracellular matrix



  • Jose Calbet, University of Las Palmas, Las Palmas, Spain
  • Paul Greenhaff, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  • Nils Færgeman, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  • prof. Chris Shaw, University of Deakin, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  • prof. Christoffer Clemmensen, Center of Basic Metabolism, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Mette Hansen, Centre of Sports Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Consultant in Cardiology, Emil Wolsk, Gentofte-Herlev Hospital, Denmark
  • Consultant in Cardiology, Morten Kjøbek Lamberts, Gentofte-Herlev Hospital, Denmark
  • Prof. Christina Blasco-Lafarga, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

I collaborate with the Danish Biotek company Ventriject A/S  (https://ventriject.com/), and on a project Grant with Novo Nordisk A/S. In addition, I have had a long standing collaboration (> 10 yrs.) with Ubberup Højskole.



  • Ministry of Culture, Sports Science Research
  • Novo Nordisk A/S
  • Ventriject A/S
  • Helsefonden



Jørn Wulff Helge

Group Leader

Jørn Wulff Helge

Phone +452875 7506

ORCID: 0000-0001-9724-5423

Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Jørn Wulff Helge Professor +4528757506 E-mail
Kristine Kjær Lange Student   E-mail
Magnus Hassing Bachelor student   E-mail
Mikkel Thunestvedt Hansen PhD Fellow +4535334422 E-mail
Nessa Sarah Smailes Bachelor student   E-mail
Paula Padro Andres Erasmus Master Student   E-mail
Sidsel Taricuarima Høybye Bachelor student   E-mail