Lipid peroxides can be both a product and an initiator of oxidant stress. Conceivably, exercise can either increase concentrations of lipid peroxides (by causing oxidant stress), or decrease them (by accelerating peroxide breakdown). The net effect could depend on exercise intensity and nutritional intake of antioxidants. The present study examined the response of serum lipid peroxides to the combination of moderate intensity, weight resistance exercise plus intake of soy protein, a source of antioxidant phytochemicals. Recreationally trained, young adult men (N = 18) consumed soy protein or antioxidant-poor whey protein for 4 weeks (40 g protein/d) before a session of moderate intensity, weight resistance exercise. In the soy group, exercise decreased values for serum lipid peroxides at 5 min, 3 h, and 24 h post-exercise. The whey group showed the depression only at 24 h. In both the soy and whey groups, a small rise was seen for interleukin-8, which is consistent with the idea that the exercise session induced a moderate muscle stress. In summary, a moderate intensity, weight resistance exercise session, despite inducing mild inflammation, depressed plasma serum peroxide values, especially when combined with 4 weeks of soy consumption.
The authors are with the Department of Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1295.