Supplemental Antioxidants are Mandatory for Those Who Train Hard

Antioxidants form a front line defense against cell damage caused by free radicals, which are involved in muscle, joint and tendon damage and inflammation, degenerative arthritis and even in the aging process. The use of antioxidants can reduce free radical damage that occurs when we exercise[i]and can also attenuate the ongoing damage to injured tissues caused by free radicals, thus accelerating the healing process. As well, antioxidants have been shown to enhance aerobic performance.[ii]


Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, selenium, green tea, reduced glutathione andN-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) can play an important role in reducing inflammation and fatigue, decreasing tissue damage, and in both preventing and treating injuries.


Various antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have been found to be useful in the treatment of some forms of arthritis[iii]and in dealing with the oxidative stress of exercise.[iv]  As well, oxidative damage has been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of injuries and arthritis, and the use of antioxidants, such as NAC,[v]shown to have therapeutic value for reducing endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, fibrosis, invasion and cartilage erosion.


One study found that a combination of 2 antioxidants, selenomethionine and epigallocatechin-gallate (the main antioxidant in green tea extract), had beneficial effects on catabolic and anabolic gene expression of articular chondrocytes.[vi]The authors of the study concluded that “Our data provide insights into the mechanisms whereby ECGg and selenium modulate chondrocyte metabolism. Despite their differential mechanisms of action, the 2 compounds may exert global beneficial effects on articular cartilage.”


Supplementing endogenous antioxidants with supplementation is especially important in intense exercise which can overwhelm the intracellular antioxidant systems and can result in damage to the musculoskeletal and other systems in the body. For example, oxidative stress, the result of the overwhelming of the endogenous antioxidant system, can lead to damage to the reproductive system and decrease sex hormone production over the long term.[vii],[viii]


Supplemental exogenous antioxidants interactwith endogenous antioxidant to provide protection from the increase in free radicals produced by exercise.


Who Should Use Antioxidant Supplements


Lately the use and usefulness of antioxidant supplements by athletes has become a controversial subject. A few studies published last year (2010) found that the use of supplemental antioxidants may be counter productive because they can decrease the natural antioxidant response in the body and because they may decrease skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise.


If the exercise intensity is only mild to moderate supplemental antioxidants may, by decreasing the stimulus to enhance the endogenous antioxidant system, be somewhat counter productive. However, excessive free radical production and oxidative damage secondary to intense/exhaustive exercise and/or overtraining can overwhelm the intracellular antioxidant systems and can result in irreparable oxidative damage.


So while it may be true for most people that exercise that supplemental antioxidants may decrease endogenous antioxidant production and thus be counter productive, it is not true for elite athletes in which the intensity of training often overwhelms the endogenous antioxidant system. This in turn leads to counter productive effects on the cellular function and on the neuro-musculoskeletal and energy systems leading to detrimental changes in body composition, performance, recovery, and increasing the chance of injuries..[i],[ii],[iii]


While it is common knowledge that you have to stress muscle fibers for them to adapt and grow, excessive damage leads to cellular membranes and mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to less efficient metabolism and delivery of nutrients.


Also muscle cells can be damaged and undergo apoptosis (cellular death) that is repaired by collagen deposition (basically scar tissue) that is cumulative leading to decreased muscle strength and efficiency.[iv]


Supplementing endogenous antioxidants with supplementation is especially important in intense exercise which can overwhelm For example, oxidative stress, the result of the overwhelming of the endogenous antioxidant system, can lead to damage to the reproductive system and decrease sex hormone production over the long term.[v],[vi]


The bottom line is that in those who exercise intensely, supplementation with antioxidants, using as broad a base as possible, reduces exercise induced counter productive oxidative damage, without blocking the cellular adaptation to exercise, and without impacting on endogenous antioxidant production and efficacy.


In elite athletes I feel the use of a complex mixture of antioxidants is important for optimum performance and body composition. As such I formulated what I consider the ultimate antioxidant supplement.


I’ve included some pertinent but limited info on Anitox below as well as the Supplements Facts panel for MD+ Antiox version IV below.


Antiox version IV is the most complete and most effective antioxidant formula available on the market today. It combines more than 60 potent natural antioxidants that provide additive and synergistic effects that neutralize free radicals and improve health, body composition, strength ,and performance.


Antiox contains the usual antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, zinc, pycnogenol, various amino acids and various herbs. However, it also contains many other antioxidants that give it a full rounded effect without an overemphasis on just a few isolated antioxidants. As well, Antiox contains other ingredients that facilitate the formation of endogenous antioxidants as well as complement the antioxidant and health benefits of Antiox.


For example, various nutrients are necessary for priming the endogenous antioxidant systems including some minerals as copper, zinc andselenium (all present in Antiox) that contribute to the antioxidant defense system by actingas co-factors for antioxidant Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase andglutathione peroxidase activities.


Overall, Antiox contains over 60 nutrients that have antioxidant activity and/or increase endogenous antioxidant activity. As well, many of these ingredients have other properties that result in beneficial effects on health, energy metabolism, body composition and performance.


Having this large mix of antioxidants, as well as plant and herbal extracts, and supporting nutrients, makes Antiox not only more natural than other antioxidants on the market but also makes it more effective and bypasses the problems associated with using just a few antioxidants by themselves.


As such, Antiox, with its individual antioxidants as well as full and partial plant extracts, and fruit complexes, provides the most complete full spectrum antioxidant effects one would expect from a combination of single antioxidants and natural extracts from herbs, plants, and fruits.


Antiox – the most comprehensive antioxidant supplement for serious athletes was formulated to decrease counter productive oxidative damage, improve energy metabolism, and enhance recovery.


Relevant Research Papers on Antioxidants


I’ve copied several of the important abstracts of the last several years. These papers show the beneficial effects of antioxidants for those looking to maximize the anabolic, body composition, and performance effects of exercise, especially athletes who push the envelope.


The first two papers show that long term intensive exercise can have maladaptive effects and lead to muscle pathology.I believe that any long term intensive exercise can result in chronic counter productive muscle pathology, which I believe can be lessened if not abolished by the use of the right mix of supplemental antioxidants.



Br J Sports Med. 2004 Dec;38(6):697-703.

Skeletal muscle pathology in endurance athletes with acquired training intolerance.

Grobler LA, Collins M, Lambert MI, Sinclair-Smith C, Derman W, St Clair Gibson A, Noakes TD.

Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa.


BACKGROUND: It is well established that prolonged, exhaustive endurance exercise is capable of inducing skeletal muscle damage and temporary impairment of muscle function. Although skeletal muscle has a remarkable capacity for repair and adaptation, this may be limited, ultimately resulting in an accumulation of chronic skeletal muscle pathology. Case studies have alluded to an association between long term, high volume endurance training and racing, acquired training intolerance, and chronic skeletal muscle pathology.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically compare the skeletal muscle structural and ultrastructural status of endurance athletes with acquired training intolerance (ATI group) with asymptomatic endurance athletes matched for age and years of endurance training (CON group).

METHODS: Histological and electron microscopic analyses were carried out on a biopsy sample of the vastus lateralis from 18 ATI and 17 CON endurance athletes. The presence of structural and ultrastructural disruptions was compared between the two groups of athletes.

RESULTS: Significantly more athletes in the ATI group than in the CON group presented with fibre size variation (15 v 6; p = 0.006), internal nuclei (9 v 2; p = 0.03), and z disc streaming (6 v 0; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: There is an association between increased skeletal muscle disruptions and acquired training intolerance in endurance athletes. Further studies are required to determine the nature of this association and the possible mechanisms involved.



Eur J Appl Physiol.2010 May;109(2):323-30. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

Skeletal muscle telomere length in healthy, experienced, endurance runners.

Rae DE, Vignaud A, Butler-Browne GS, Thornell LE, Sinclair-Smith C, Derman EW, Lambert MI, Collins M.

UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


Measuring the DNA telomere length of skeletal muscle in experienced endurance runners may contribute to our understanding of the effects of chronic exposure to endurance exercise on skeletal muscle. This study compared the minimum terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length in the vastus lateralis muscle of 18 experienced endurance runners (mean age: 42 +/- 7 years) to those of 19 sedentary individuals (mean age: 39 +/- 10 years). The runners had covered almost 50,000 km in training and racing over 15 years. Minimum TRF lengths measured in the muscle of both groups were similar (P = 0.805) and within the normal range. Minimum TRF length in the runners, however, was inversely related to their years spent running (r = -0.63, P = 0.007) and hours spent training (r = -0.52, P = 0.035). Therefore, since exposure to endurance running may influence minimum TRF length, and by implication, the proliferative potential of the satellite cells, chronic endurance running may be seen as a stressor to skeletal muscle.



Ann Nutr Metab.2008;52(3):233-40. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

Influence of an antioxidant vitamin-enriched drink on pre- and post-exercise lymphocyte antioxidant system.

Sureda A, Tauler P, Aguiló A, Cases N, Llompart I, Tur JA, Pons A.

Laboratori de Ciències de l'Activitat Física, Departament de Biologia Fonamental i Ciències de la Salut, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Our aim was to determine whether the consumption of a functional drink enriched with vitamin C and vitamin E could alleviate exercise-induced oxidative damage in lymphocytes.

METHODS: Fourteen male amateur trained runners (32-36 years old) were randomized to receive antioxidant supplementation (152 mg vitamin C/day and 50 mg vitamin E/day) or placebo for 1 month in a double-blind study, and participated in a half-marathon race. The volunteers did not take any other antioxidant supplements. Blood samples were taken before and after the half-marathon and after 3 h recovery.

RESULTS: Exercise increased lymphocyte malondialdehyde levels only in the placebo group (p < 0.001). Lymphocytes from the supplemented group accumulated more vitamin C and vitamin E than placebo after exercise and recovery (p < 0.05). Catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities increased only in the supplemented group after exercise, whereas superoxide dismutase activity increased in both groups (p < 0.05). Heme oxygenase-1 expression was enhanced during the recovery period only in the placebo group (p < 0.01). Bcl-2 expression decreased after exercise only in the placebo group and remained low during the recovery (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Intense exercise increases lipid peroxidation, decreases Bcl-2 expression and induces an antioxidant response in lymphocytes. Supplementation with moderate levels of antioxidant vitamins reduces exercise-induced oxidative damage, but without blocking the cellular adaptation to exercise.



J Am Coll Nutr.2007 Apr;26(2):111-20.

Multivitamin-mineral supplementation prevents lipid peroxidation during "the Marathondes Sables".

Machefer G, Groussard C, Vincent S, Zouhal H, Faure H, Cillard J, Radák Z, Gratas-Delamarche A.

Laboratory of Physiology and Biomechanics of Muscular Exercise. UFR-APS, University of Rennes 2, av. Charles Tillon, 35044 Rennes Cedex, FRANCE.


OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effect of a moderate mutivitamin and mineral supplementation containing mainly vitamin C (150.0, vitamin E (24.0 and beta-carotene (4.8 prior to and during an extreme running competition -the Marathon des Sables (MDS)- that consisted of six long races in the desert.

METHODS: Seventeen athletes participated in our double blind, placebo-controlled study. Blood samples were collected prior to the supplementation i.e. three weeks before the competition (D-21), two days prior to the MDS (D-2), after the third race (D3) and at the end of the competition (D7). Erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity (glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD)), erythrocyte glutathione level (GSH), plasma non-enzymatic antioxidant status (uric acid, vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol, retinol, beta-carotene), markers of plasma lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS)), reactive carbonyl derivatives (RCD) and membrane damage (creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities) were measured.

RESULTS: In both groups, GSH levels, uric acid levels and membrane damage significantly increased during the competition while SOD activity significantly decreased. In Supplemented group, plasma alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and retinol levels significantly increased after three weeks of supplementing. In contrast to Placebo group, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C and retinol levels were significantly affected by the competition in Supplemented group. Moreover, no increase in TBARS was observed in Supplemented group during the competition, whereas TBARS significantly increased at D3 in the placebo group.

CONCLUSION: The moderate multivitamin-mineral supplementation prevented the transient increase in TBARS levels during this extreme competition.



J Am Coll Nutr.2004 Aug;23(4):358-64.

Extreme running competition decreases blood antioxidant defense capacity.

Machefer G, Groussard C, Rannou-Bekono F, Zouhal H, Faure H, Vincent S, Cillard J, Gratas-Delamarche A.

Laboratoire de Physiologie et de Biomécanique de l'Exercice Musculaire, UFRAPS Université de Rennes 2, EA 1274, Avenue Charles Tillon, Campus la Harpe, CS 24414, 35044 Rennes Cedex, France.

OBJECTIVE: We tested whether an extreme running competition ("Marathon of Sands") might alter the blood's enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant status in 6 well-trained athletes.

METHODS: The Marathon of Sands is a competition consisting of six long duration races in the desert in which the athletes carry their own food. Blood samples were collected from an antecubital vein while the athletes were at rest before the competition and then again 72 hours after. Erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase), erythrocyte glutathione level, plasma non-enzymatic status (vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol, retinol, beta-carotene and carotenoids) and plasma lipid peroxidation marker (TBARS) were measured.

RESULTS: The Marathon of Sands induced a significant alteration of the blood antioxidant defense capacity. Indeed, 72 hours after the race, significant decreases were recorded in erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity and in plasma concentrations of retinol, beta-carotene and other carotenoids. These changes were associated with a concomitant increase in erythrocyte glutathione and in plasma TBARS levels.

CONCLUSION: This study indicated that such extreme competition induced an imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant protection.



Br J Nutr.2010 Jul 19:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

Antioxidant responses to an acute ultra-endurance exercise: impact on DNA stability and indications for an increased need for nutritive antioxidants in the early recovery phase.

Neubauer O, Reichhold S, Nics L, Hoelzl C, Valentini J, Stadlmayr B, Knasmüller S, Wagner KH.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Emerging Field Oxidative Stress and DNA Stability, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Antioxidant requirements have neither been defined for endurance nor been defined for ultra-endurance athletes. To verify whether an acute bout of ultra-endurance exercise modifies the need for nutritive antioxidants, we aimed (1) to investigate the changes of endogenous and exogenous antioxidants in response to an Ironman triathlon; (2) to particularise the relevance of antioxidant responses to the indices of oxidatively damaged blood lipids, blood cell compounds and lymphocyte DNA and (3) to examine whether potential time-points of increased susceptibility to oxidative damage are associated with alterations in the antioxidant status. Blood that was collected from forty-two well-trained male athletes 2 d pre-race, immediately post-race, and 1, 5 and 19 d later was sampled. The key findings of the present study are as follows: (1) Immediately post-race, vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol, and levels of the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, the ferric reducing ability of plasma and the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays increased significantly. Exercise-induced changes in the plasma antioxidant capacity were associated with changes in uric acid, bilirubin and vitamin C. (2) Significant inverse correlations between ORAC levels and indices of oxidatively damaged DNA immediately and 1 d post-race suggest a protective role of the acute antioxidant responses in DNA stability. (3) Significant decreases in carotenoids and gamma-tocopherol 1 d post-race indicate that the antioxidant intake during the first 24 h of recovery following an acute ultra-endurance exercise requires specific attention.Furthermore, the present study illustrates the importance of a diversified and well-balanced diet to maintain a physiological antioxidant status in ultra-endurance athletes in reference to recommendations.



J Am Coll Nutr.2003 Apr;22(2):147-56.

Antioxidant supplementation and tapering exercise improve exercise-induced antioxidant response.

Margaritis I, Palazzetti S, Rousseau AS, Richard MJ, Favier A.

Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire des Systèmes Intégrés, CNRS UMR 6548, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, 261 Route de Grenoble, BP 3259, 06205 Nice Cedex 3, France.


OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: The present controlled-training, double-blind study (supplemented, n = 7; placebo, n = 9) investigated whether taper training (TT) and antioxidant supplementation, i.e., 150 micro g of selenium, 2000 IU of retinol, 120 mg of ascorbic acid and 30 IU of alpha-tocopherol, modulates antioxidant potential, redox status and oxidative damage occurrence both at rest and in response to exercise. Two weeks of TT followed four weeks of overloaded training. Dietary intakes were recorded. Before and after TT, triathletes did a duathlon consisting of 5-km run, 20-km bike and 5-km run. Biological studies were conducted at rest and after exercise.

RESULTS: Whatever the nutritional status, TT induced a decrease in resting blood reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration (p < 0.001), erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity (p < 0.0001) and plasma total antioxidant status (TAS) (p < 0.05). Only in the supplemented group (Su) with TT, did plasma glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity decrease (p < 0.05) and CD4(+) cell concentration increase (p < 0.05). However, antioxidant supplementation increased plasma TAS increase in response to exercise and TT (p < 0.05). After exercise, TT also induced a lower decrease in blood reduced and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione (p < 0.01) in both groups, but TT had no effect on lipoperoxidation as estimated by plasma thiobarbituric reactive substances or on muscular damage occurrence estimated by plasma creatine kinase isoenzyme MB mass.

CONCLUSION: During TT, antioxidant supplementation at nutritional doses reinforces antioxidant status response to exercise, with an effect on exercise-induced oxidative stress, and no effect on oxidative damage.



Eur J Appl Physiol.2010 Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Serum oxidant and antioxidant status during early and late recovery periods following an all-out 21-km run in trained adolescent runners.

Tian Y, Nie J, Tong TK, Baker JS, Thomas NE, Shi Q.

China Institute of Sport Science, 11 Tiyuguan Road, Chongwen District, Beijing, 100061, China,

It is well documented that intense exercise precipitates oxidative stress in adults. However, there is lack of related studies concerning oxidant and antioxidant status during early and late recovery periods in adolescent athletes, following endurance exercise in particular. This study investigated aspects of the serum oxidant and antioxidant status of 12 male adolescent (16.2 +/- 0.6 years) trained runners during early and late recovery periods after an all-out 21-km run. Venous blood samples were taken immediately before, 2 and 4 h following (early recovery period), and 24 h following (late recovery period) the 21-km run. Samples were analyzed for serum concentrations of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), uric acid (UA), reduced glutathione (GSH), and enzymatic activity of xanthine oxidase (XO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT). During the early recovery period, there were increases in the 4-h GSH (194.8 +/- 10.4 vs. 211.8 +/- 11.4 mg l(-1), P < 0.05), 2- and 4-h UA (307.8 +/- 68.6 vs. 327.4 +/- 63.8; 330.2 +/- 65.1 mumol l(-1), P < 0.05), and 2-h CAT (2.05 +/- 0.44 vs. 3.07 +/- 0.51 U ml(-1), P < 0.05), and decreases in the 2-h XO (11.1 +/- 1.5 vs. 10.3 +/- 1.2 U l(-1), P < 0.05) compared to the corresponding pre-exercise level, respectively. No change was observed in SOD (P > 0.05). At the late recovery period, there was an increase in CAT (2.80 +/- 0.49 U ml(-1), P < 0.05) and TBARS (2.99 +/- 0.83 vs. 4.40 +/- 1.38 nmol ml(-1), P < 0.05). These data indicate that although the antioxidant capacity of adolescent runners is augmented during the early recovery period following the 21-km run, they were not completely protected from oxidative stress during the later recovery period.



Res Vet Sci.2009 Dec;87(3):462-7.

alpha-Lipoic acid supplementation enhances heat shock protein production and decreases post exercise lactic acid concentrations in exercised standardbred trotters.

Kinnunen S, Hyyppä S, Oksala N, Laaksonen DE, Hannila ML, Sen CK, Atalay M.

Instituteof Biomedicine, Physiology, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland.

Heat shock protein (HSP) expression is an adaptive mechanism against the disruption of cell homeostasis during exercise. Several antioxidant supplementation strategies have been used to enhance tissue protection. In this study, we examined the effects of a redox modulator, alpha-lipoic acid (LA) on HSP responses in six standardbred trotters following intense aerobic exercise. DL-LA supplementation (25 mg kg(-1) d(-1)) for five weeks increased the resting levels of HSP90 (1.02+/-0.155 in control and 1.26+/-0.090 after supplementation in arbitrary units) and the recovery levels of inducible HSP70 (0.89+/-0.056 in control and 1.05+/-0.089 after supplementation in arbitrary units) in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, LA increased skeletal muscle citrate synthase activity at rest and lowered the blood lactate concentration during exercise without any changes in the heart rate. LA had no effect on concentrations of HSP60, HSP25 or GRP75 in skeletal muscle. LA decreased the exercise-induced increases in plasma aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase concentrations during recovery. Our results suggest that LA supplementation may enhance tissue protection and increase oxidative capacity of the muscle in horse.



Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.2009 Oct;19(5):443-56.

Antioxidant status, oxidative stress, and damage in elite trained kayakers and canoeists and sedentary controls.

Teixeira V, Valente H, Casal S, Marques F, Moreira P.

Strenuous physical activity is known to generate reactive oxygen species to a point that can exceed the antioxidant defense system and lead to oxidative stress.Dietary intake of antioxidants, plasma enzymatic (superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase [Gr], and glutathione peroxidase [GPx]) activities, nonenzymatic (total antioxidant status [TAS], uric acid, alpha-tocopherol, retinol, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein + zeaxanthin) antioxidants, and markers of lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric-acid-reactive substances [TBARS]) and muscle damage (creatine kinase [CK]) were measured in 17 elite male kayakers and canoeists under resting conditions and in an equal number of age- and sex-matched sedentary individuals. Athletes showed increased plasma values of alpha-tocopherol (p = .037), alpha-carotene (p = .003), beta-carotene (p = .007), and superoxide dismutase activity (p = .002) and a lower TAS level (p = .030). Antioxidant intake (alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, and beta-carotene) and plasmatic GPx, Gr, lycopene, lutein + zeaxanthin, retinol, and uric acid levels were similar in both groups. Nevertheless, TBARS (p < .001) and CK (p = .011) levels were found to be significantly higher in the kayakers and canoeists. This work suggests that despite the enhanced levels of antioxidants, athletes undergoing regular strenuous exercise exhibited more oxidative stress than sedentary controls.



Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.2009 Nov;297(5):H1870-5. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Antioxidants and aging: NMR-based evidence of improved skeletal muscle perfusion and energetics.

Wray DW, Nishiyama SK, Monnet A, Wary C, Duteil SS, Carlier PG, Richardson RS.

We sought to examine the potential role of oxidative stress on skeletal muscle function with advancing age. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was employed to simultaneously assess muscle perfusion (arterial spin labeling) and energetics ((31)P NMR spectroscopy) in the lower leg of young (26 + or - 5 yr, n = 6) and older (70 + or - 5 yr, n = 6) healthy volunteers following the consumption of either placebo (PL) or an oral antioxidant (AO) cocktail (vitamins C and E and alpha-lipoic acid), previously documented to decrease plasma free radical concentration. NMR measurements were made during and after 5 min of moderate intensity (approximately 5 W) plantar flexion exercise. AO administration significantly improved end-exercise perfusion (AO, 50 + or - 5, and PL, 43 + or - 4 ml x 100 g(-1) x min(-1)) and postexercise perfusion area under the curve (AO, 1,286 + or - 236, and PL, 866 + or - 144 ml/100 g) in older subjects, whereas AO administration did not alter hemodynamics in the young group. Concomitantly, muscle oxidative capacity (time constant of phosphocreatine recovery, tau) was improved following AO in the older (AO, 43 + or - 1, and PL, 51 + or - 7 s) but not the young (AO, 54 + or - 5, and PL, 48 + or - 7 s) group. These findings support the concept that oxidative stress may be partially responsible for the age-related decline in skeletal muscle perfusion during physical activityand reveal a muscle metabolic reserve capacity in the elderly that is accessible under conditions of improved perfusion.



Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.2009 Aug;34(4):716-24.

Antioxidant status, oxidative stress, and damage in elite kayakers after 1 year of training and competition in 2 seasons.

Teixeira V, Valente H, Casal S, Pereira L, Marques F, Moreira P.

The large volume of training performed by elite athletes throughout the season can translate into a chronic oxidative insult.To study the effects that chronically high training loads have on athletes' redox status, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and creatine kinase activities; total antioxidant status (TAS); and uric acid, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein + zeaxanthin, vitamin C, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), interleukin-6, and cortisol levels were determined in 9 kayakers (6 men) in a competitive period during the first season (June, T1), and in precompetitive (March, T2) and competitive (June, T3) periods during the following season. TAS decreased from the first to the second season (T1 vs. T2, p < 0.001; T1 vs. T3, p < 0.001). TBARS (p = 0.024) decreased from T1 to T2. The alpha-tocopherol increase (p = 0.001) from T1 to T2 lost statistical significance after adjustment for total lipids (p = 0.243). GPx (p = 0.003) increased, while SOD (p < 0.001) and uric acid (p = 0.032) decreased from T2 to T3. Cortisol levels decreased significantly throughout the study (T1 vs. T2, p = 0.042; T2 vs. T3, p = 0.018; T1 vs. T3, p = 0.002). No significant differences were observed for any of the other parameters studied. Antioxidant status changed more within the same season than from one season to another. Redox markers should be monitored throughout the season to detect athletes at an increased oxidative risk.



Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care.2008 Jul;11(4):459-64.

Inflammation and metabolic disorders.

Navab M, Gharavi N, Watson AD.

Division of Cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Poor nutrition, overweight and obesity have increasingly become a public health concern as they affect many metabolic disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, digestive system disorders, and renal failure. Study of the effects of life style including healthy nutrition will help further elucidate the mechanisms involved in the adverse effects of poor nutrition. RECENT FINDINGS: Unhealthy life style including poor nutrition can result in imbalance in our oxidation/redox systems. Lipids can undergo oxidative modification by lipoxygenases, cyclooxygenases, myeloperoxidase, and other enzymes. Oxidized phospholipids can induce inflammatory molecules in the liver and other organs. This can contribute to inflammation, leading to coronary heart disease, stroke, renal failure, inflammatory bowl disease, metabolic syndrome, bone and joint disorders, and even certain types of cancer. SUMMARY: Our antioxidant and antiinflammatory defense mechanisms contribute to a balance between the stimulators and the inhibitors of inflammation. Beyond a point, however, these systems might be overwhelmed and eventually fail.High-density lipoprotein is a potent inhibitor of the formation of toxic oxidized lipids. High-density lipoprotein is also an effective system for stimulating the genes whose products are active in the removal, inactivation, and elimination of toxic lipids. Supporting the high-density lipoprotein function should help maintain the balance in these systems. It is hoped that the present report would elucidate some of the ongoing work toward this goal.



Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.2008 Aug;18(4):379-88.

N-acetylcysteine supplementation and oxidative damage and inflammatory response after eccentric exercise.

Silva LA, Silveira PC, Pinho CA, Tuon T, Dal Pizzol F, Pinho RA.

The objective of the study was to verify the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) supplementation on parameters of oxidative damage and inflammatory response after high-intensity eccentric exercise (EE). 29 participants with a mean age of 21.3+/-4 yr, weight of 74.5+/-7.7 kg, and height of 177.2+/-6.9 cm were selected and divided randomly into 3 groups: placebo (21 days; n=8), NAC (21 days; n=9), and NAC plus placebo (14 days; n=8). Four participants withdrew from the study for personal reasons. 14 days after starting supplementation, the participants performed EE: 3 sets until exhaustion (elbow flexion and extension on the Scott bench, 80% 1RM). Blood samples were collected before and on the 2nd, 4th, and 7th day after EE. Muscle soreness (MS), lipoperoxidation, protein carbonylation, tumor-necrosis factor- (TNF-), and interleukin 10 (IL-10) were determined. Results showed a significant increase in MS in all the groups on the 2nd day after EE and a decrease in the following days. A significant increase was observed in malondialdehyde and carbonyl levels on the 4th and 7th days after EE in all groups. TNF- increased significantly on the 2nd day after eccentric exercise and decreased in the following days irrespective of NAC supplementation; concentration of IL-10 increased significantly on the 4th day in all groups. Only the supplemented groups maintained high levels of IL-10 on the 7th day after EE. The results suggest that treatment with NAC represents an important factor in the defense against muscle soreness and has different effects on oxidative damage and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.



Antioxidant Vitamins Promote Healthy Arteries

A number of previous studies have found that antioxidant supplementation has the potential to alleviate the atherosclerotic damage caused by excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), this study evaluated the effects of prolonged antioxidant treatment on arterial elasticity, inflammatory and metabolic measures in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The patients in the antioxidant group benefitted in many ways including more elastic arteries (a measure of increased cardiovascular health) and better blood sugar and cholesterol profiles.

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Jul 6;7:55.

Effect of long-term treatment with antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium) on arterial compliance, humoral factors and inflammatory markers in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

Shargorodsky M, Debby O, Matas Z, Zimlichman R.

BACKGROUND: Antioxidant supplementations have the potential to alleviate the atherosclerotic damage caused by excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The present study evaluated the effects of prolonged antioxidant treatment on arterial elasticity, inflammatory and metabolic measures in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

METHODS: Study participants were randomly assigned to two groups. Group 1 received oral supplementation with 2 capsules per day of Mid Life Guard, SupHerb, Israel. In each capsule vitamin C (500 mg) vitamin E (200 iu), co-enzyme Q10 (60 mg) and selenium (100 mcg), Group 2 received matching placebo(SupHerb) for 6 months. Patients were evaluated for lipid profile, HbA1C, insulin, C-peptide, hs-CRP, endothelin, aldosterone, plasma renin activity and Homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Arterial elasticity was evaluated using pulse wave contour analysis (HDI CR 2000, Eagan, Minnesota).

RESULTS: Antioxidant-treated patients exhibited significant increases in large arterial elasticity index (LAEI) as well as small arterial elasticity index (SAEI). A significant decline HbA1C and a significant increase in HDL-cholesterol were also observed.In the placebo group, significant changes in LAEI, SAEI or metabolic measures were not observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Antioxidant supplementation significantly increased large and small artery elasticity in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. This beneficial vascular effect was associated with an improvement in glucose and lipid metabolism as well as decrease in blood pressure.



Antioxidant diet supplementation enhances aerobic performance in amateur sportsmen.


Aguiló A, Tauler P, Sureda A, Cases N, Tur J, Pons A. Antioxidant diet supplementation enhances aerobic performance in amateur sportsmen. J Sports Sci. 2007 Sep;25(11):1203-10.

The effects of antioxidant diet supplements on blood lactate concentration and on the aerobic and anaerobic thresholds and their adaptations to training were analysed.Fifteen amateur male athletes were randomly assigned to either a placebo group or an antioxidant-supplemented group (90 days supplementation with 500 mg x day(-1) of vitamin E and 30 mg x day(-1) of beta-carotene, and the last 15 days also with 1 g x day(-1) of vitamin C). Before and after the antioxidant supplements, the sportsmen performed a maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer and maximal and submaximal physiological parameters were assessed together with blood lactate concentration. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2max)), maximal blood lactate concentration, and the maximal workload attained rose significantly in both groups after the 3 months of training. At the end of the study, maximal blood lactate concentration was lower in the group that took supplements than in the placebo group. The percentage of VO(2max) attained at the anaerobic threshold rose significantly in both groups after 3 months of training, although the final value in the supplemented group was higher than that in the placebo group. Antioxidant diet supplements induced lower increases in blood lactate concentration after a maximal exercise test and could improve the efficiency in which aerobic energy is obtained.



Biol Trace Elem Res.2010 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of Selenium Supplementation on Lipid Peroxidation, Antioxidant Enzymes, and Lactate Levels in Rats Immediately After Acute Swimming Exercise.

Akil M, Gurbuz U, Bicer M, Sivrikaya A, Mogulkoc R, Baltaci AK.

City Office of Youth Sport, 42040, Konya, Turkey,


The present study aims to evaluate the effect of selenium supplementation on lipid peroxidation and lactate levels in rats subjected to acute swimming exercise. Thirty-two adult male rats of Sprague-Dawley type were divided into four groups. Group 1, control; group 2, selenium-supplemented; group 3, swimming control; group 4, selenium-supplemented swimming group. The animals in groups 2 and 4 were supplemented with (i.p.) 6 mg/kg/day sodium selenite for 4 weeks. The blood samples taken from the animals by decapitation method were analyzed in terms of erythrocyte-reduced glutathione (GSH), serum glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and lactate using the colorimetric method, and serum selenium values using an atomic emission device. In the study, the highest MDA and lactate values were found in group 3, while the highest GSH, GPx and SOD values were obtained in group 4 (p < 0,001). Group 2 had the highest and group 3 had the lowest selenium levels (p < 0,001). Results of the study indicate that the increase in free radical production and lactate levels due to acute swimming exercise in rats might be offset by selenium supplementation. Selenium supplementation may be important in that it supports the antioxidant system in physical activity.



Cell Biochem Funct.2010 Jun;28(4):300-5.

Oral vitamin C and E combination modulates blood lipid peroxidation and antioxidant vitamin levels in maximal exercising basketball players.

Naziroğlu M, Kilinç F, Uğuz AC, Celik O, Bal R, Butterworth PJ, Baydar ML.

Department of Biophysics, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey.


Oxidative stress occurs during maximal exercise, perhaps as a result of increased consumption of oxygen. Vitamins C and E can overcome the effects of antioxidants in exercise. We investigated the effects of supplementation with a combination of vitamin C and E (VCE) on blood lipid peroxidation (LP) and antioxidant levels following maximal training in basketball players.Blood samples were taken from 14 players (group A) and divided into two subgroups namely maximal training (group B) and maximal training plus VCE groups (group C). Group B maximally exercised for 35 days. VCE was supplemented to group C for 35 days and blood samples were taken from group B and C. Plasma and hemolyzed erythrocyte samples were obtained from the players.Erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and plasma vitamin E concentration were lower in group B than in group A, whereas plasma and erythrocyte LP levels were higher in group B than in group A. Plasma vitamin A, vitamin E, erythrocyte GSH-Px, and reduced glutathione (GSH) values were higher in group C than in groups A and B although LP levels in plasma and erythrocytes were lower in group C than in group A and B. beta-Carotene values did not change in the three groups.In conclusion, VCE supplementation in maximal exercising basketball players may strengthen the antioxidant defense system by decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS).



Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.2010 Jun;35(3):251-60.

Vitamin and mineral supplementation effect on muscular activity and cycling efficiency in master athletes.

Louis J, Hausswirth C, Bieuzen F, Brisswalter J.

University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France.


The influence of vitamin and mineral complex supplementation on muscular activity and cycling efficiency was examined in elderly endurance-trained master athletes during a heavy cycling trial. Master athletes were randomly assigned in a double-blind process to 1 of 2 treatment groups: antioxidant supplementation (n = 8: As group) or placebo (n = 8: Pl group) for 21 days. After that time, each subject had to perform a 10-min session of cycling on a cycloergometer at a heavy constant intensity. Twenty-four to 48 h after this session, subjects performed an isometric maximal voluntary contraction before and immediately after a fatiguing strength training (leg press exercise) and the same 10-min cycling test after fatigue. Isometric maximal voluntary force (MVF) of knee extensors was assessed before and after fatigue. Electromyographic (EMG) activity of the vastus medialis, the vastus lateralis (VL), and the biceps femoris was recorded with surface EMG. The knee-extensors MVF after the fatiguing exercise was reduced in similar proportions for both groups (As, -10.9%; Pl, -11.3%, p < 0.05). This MVF loss was associated with a significant reduction in EMG frequency parameters for both groups, with a lower decrease for the As group. Muscular activity and cycling efficiency during the cycling bouts were affected by the treatment. Cycling efficiency decreased significantly and the oxygen uptake slow component was higher after the fatiguing exercise for both groups. Furthermore, a decrease in cycling efficiency was associated with an increase in VL activity. However, these changes were significantly lower for the As group. The results of the present study indicate an overall positive effect of vitamin and mineral complex supplementation on cycling efficiency after fatigue, in the endurance-trained elderly.



Exp Gerontol.2010 Nov;45(11):882-95. Epub 2010 Aug 10.

Vitamin E and C supplementation reduces oxidative stress, improves antioxidant enzymes and positive muscle work in chronically loaded muscles of aged rats.

Ryan MJ, Dudash HJ, Docherty M, Geronilla KB, Baker BA, Haff GG, Cutlip RG, Alway SE.

Laboratory of Muscle Biology and Sarcopenia, Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.


Aging is associated with increased oxidative stress. Muscle levels of oxidative stress are further elevated with exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine if dietary antioxidant supplementation would improve muscle function and cellular markers of oxidative stress in response to chronic repetitive loading in aging. The dorsiflexors of the left limb of aged and young adult Fischer 344 Brown×Norway rats were loaded 3 times weekly for 4.5 weeks using 80 maximal stretch-shortening contractions per session. The contra-lateral limb served as the intra-animal control. The rats were randomly assigned to a diet supplemented with Vitamin E and Vitamin C or normal non-supplemented rat chow. Biomarkers of oxidative stress were measured in the tibialis anterior muscle. Repetitive loading exercise increased maximal isometric force, negative work and positive work in the dorsiflexors of young adult rats. Only positive work increased in the aged animals that were supplemented with Vitamin E and C. Markers of oxidative stress (H(2)O(2), total GSH, GSH/GSSG ratio, malondialdehyde and 8-OHdG) increased in the tibialis anterior muscles from aged and young adult animals with repetitive loading, but Vitamin E and C supplements attenuated this increase. MnSOD activity increased with supplementation in the young adult animals. CuZnSOD and catalase activity increased with supplementation in young adult and aged animals and GPx activity increased with exercise in the non-supplemented young adult and aged animals. The increased levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes after Vitamin E and C supplementation appear to be regulated by post-transcriptional modifications that are affected differently by age, exercise, and supplementation. These data suggest that antioxidant supplementation improves indices of oxidative stress associated with repetitive loading exercise and aging and improves the positive work output of muscles in aged rodents.



Indian J Exp Biol.2010 May;48(5):503-10.

Effect of carnitine supplementation on mitochondrial enzymes in liver and skeletal muscle of rat after dietary lipid manipulation and physical activity.

Karanth J, Jeevaratnam K.

Biochemistry and Nutrition Discipline, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysore 570 011, India.


Effect of carnitine supplementation in enhancing fat utilization was investigated by looking into its effects on mitochondrial respiratory enzymes activity in liver and muscle as well as on membrane fatty acid profile in rats fed with hydrogenated fat (HF) and MUFA-rich peanut oil (PO) with or without exercise. Male Wistar rats were fed HF-diet (4 groups, 8 rats in each group) or PO-diet (4 groups, 8 rats in each group), with or without carnitine for 24 weeks. One group for each diet acted as sedentary control while the other groups were allowed swimming for 1 hr a day, 6 days/week, for 24 weeks. The PO diet as well as exercise increased the activities of mitochondrial enzymes, NADH dehydrogenase, NADH oxidase, cytochrome C reductase, cytochrome oxidase, while carnitine supplementation further augmented the oxidative capacity of both liver and muscle significantly by enhancing the activity of carnitine palmitoyl transferase and the respiratory chain enzymes. These effects can be attributed to the enhanced unsaturated fatty acids in phospholipids of mitochondria and may be due to increased fluidity of the membrane in these rats. Results of this study show a significant health promoting effects of carnitine supplementation which could be further augmented by regular exercise.



Cell Biochem Funct.2011 Jan-Feb;29(1):43-9. doi: 10.1002/cbf.1716. Epub 2010 Dec 27.

Taurine supplementation decreases oxidative stress in skeletal muscle after eccentric exercise.

Silva LA, Silveira PC, Ronsani MM, Souza PS, Scheffer D, Vieira LC, Benetti M, De Souza CT, Pinho RA.

Exercise Biochemistry and Physiology Laboratory, Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, Health Sciences Unit, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense, Criciúma, SC, Brazil.


Infrequent exercise, typically involving eccentric actions, has been shown to cause oxidative stress and to damage muscle tissue. High taurine levels are present in skeletal muscle and may play a role in cellular defences against free radical-mediated damage. This study investigates the effects of taurine supplementation on oxidative stress biomarkers after eccentric exercise (EE). Twenty-four male rats were divided into the following groups (n = 6): control; EE; EE plus taurine (EE + Taurine); EE plus saline (EE + Saline). Taurine was administered as a 1-ml 300 mg kg(-1) per body weight (BW) day(-1) solution in water by gavage, for 15 consecutive days. Starting on the 14th day of supplementation, the animals were submitted to one 90-min downhill run session and constant velocity of 1·0 km h(-1) . Forty-eight hours after the exercise session, the animals were killed and the quadriceps muscles were surgically removed. Production of superoxide anion, creatine kinase (CK) levels, lipoperoxidation, carbonylation, total thiol content and antioxidant enzyme were analysed. Taurine supplementation was found to decrease superoxide radical production, CK, lipoperoxidation and carbonylation levels and increased total thiol content in skeletal muscle, but it did not affect antioxidant enzyme activity after EE. The present study suggests that taurine affects skeletal muscle contraction by decreasing oxidative stress, in association with decreased superoxide radical production.



Free Radic Biol Med.2011 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Mitochondrial dynamic remodeling in strenuous exercise-induced muscle and mitochondrial dysfunction: Regulatory effects of hydroxytyrosol.

Feng Z, Bai L, Yan J, Li Y, Shen W, Wang Y, Wertz K, Weber P, Zhang Y, Chen Y, Liu J.

The Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Ministry of Education, Institute of Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an, China; Institute for Nutritional Science, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai and Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; Institute for Nutritional Science, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai and Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China.


Physical exercise is considered to exert a positive effect on health while strenuous or excessive exercise (Exe) causes fatigue and damage to muscle and immune functions. The underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear We designed a protocol to mimic Exe and explore the ensuing cellular damage and involvement of mitochondrial dynamics. We found that Exe was prone to decrease endurance capacity and induce damage to renal function and the immune system. Muscle atrophy markers atrogin-1 and MuRF1 mRNA were increased by Exe, accompanied by increased autophagy and mitochondrial fission in skeletal muscle. Exe caused a decrease in PGC-1α and complex I expression; it also activated JNK and Erk1/2 pathways and consequently induced p53, p21, and MnSOD expression in skeletal muscle. The involvement of oxidant-induced autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction was confirmed in C2C12 myoblasts. Hydroxytyrosol (HT), a natural olive polyphenol, efficiently enhanced endurance capacity and prevented Exe-induced renal and immune system damage. Also, HT treatment inhibited both the Exe-induced increase in autophagy and mitochondrial fission and the decrease in PGC-1α expression. In addition, HT enhanced mitochondrial fusion and mitochondrial complex I and II activities in muscle of Exe rats. These results demonstrate that Exe-induced fatigue and damage to muscle and immune functions may be mediated via the regulation of mitochondrial dynamic remodeling, including the downregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of autophagy. HT supplementation may regulate mitochondrial dynamic remodeling and enhance antioxidant defenses, and thus improve exercise capacity under Exe conditions.



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