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Original Research Oral Quercetin Supplementation and Blood Oxidative Capacity in Response to Ultramarathon Competition



Previous research indicates that ultramarathon exercise can result in blood oxidative stress. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the efficacy of oral supplementation with quercetin, a naturally occurring compound with known antioxidant properties, as a potential countermeasure against blood oxidative stress during an ultramarathon competition. In double-blind fashion, 63 participants received either oral quercetin (250 mg, 4×/day; 1,000 mg/day total) or quercetin-free supplements 3 weeks before and during the 160-km Western States Endurance Run. Blood drawn before and immediately after (quercetin finishers n = 18, quercetin-free finishers n = 21) the event was analyzed for changes in blood redox status and oxidative damage. Results show that quercetin supplementation did not affect race performance. In response to the ultramarathon challenge, aqueous-phase antioxidant capacity (ferric-reducing ability of plasma) was similarly elevated in athletes in both quercetin and quercetin-free treatments and likely reflects significant increases in plasma urate levels. Alternatively, trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity was not altered by exercise or quercetin. Accordingly, neither F2-isoprostances nor protein carbonyls were influenced by either exercise or quercetin supplementation. In the absence of postrace blood oxidative damage, these findings suggest that oral quercetin supplementation does not alter blood plasma lipid or aqueous-phase antioxidant capacity or oxidative damage during an ultramarathon challenge.

Authors: John C. Quindry, Steven R. McAnulty, Matthew B. Hudson, Charles L. Dumke, Lisa S. McAnulty, Dru A. Henson, Jason D. Morrow, David Nieman

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