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Steven R. McAnulty, Lisa S. McAnulty, Jason D. Morrow, David C. Nieman, John T. Owens and Cristin M. Carper

This study compared effects of carbohydrate (CHO) and rest on oxidative stress during exercise. Cyclists (N = 12) completed 4 randomized trials at 64% Wattsmax under 2 conditions (continuous cycling for 2 h [C] and cycling with 3-min rest every 10 min for 2.6 h [R]). Subjects cycled under each condition while receiving 6% CHO and placebo (PLA). CHO and PLA were given pre exercise (12 mL/kg) and during exercise (4 mL·kg−1·15 min−1). Blood was collected pre exercise, post exercise, and 1 h post exercise and assayed for F2-isoprostanes, hydroperoxides (LH), nitrite, antioxidant capacity, glucose, insulin, cortisol, and epinephrine. F2-isoprostanes and LH were lower in CHO. Glucose, cortisol, and epinephrine exhibited significant effects, with post exercise levels of glucose higher and cortisol and epinephrine lower in CHO during the R condition. This pattern was identical in the C condition (21). Oxidative stress during cycling was unaffected by use of short rest intervals but was diminished by CHO.

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Trent A. Watson, Lesley K. MacDonald-Wicks and Manohar L. Garg

Exercise has been shown to increase the production of reactive oxygen species to a point that can exceed antioxidant defenses to cause oxidative stress. Dietary intake of antioxidants, physical activity levels, various antioxidants and oxidative stress markers were examined in 20 exercise-trained “athletes” and 20 age- and sex-matched sedentary “controls.” Plasma F2-isoprostanes, antioxidant enzyme activities, and uric acid levels were similar in athletes and sedentary controls. Plasma α-tocopherol and β-carotene were higher in athletes compared with sedentary controls. Total antioxidant capacity tended to be lower in athletes, with a significant difference between male athletes and male controls. Dietary intakes of antioxidants were also similar between groups and well above recommended dietary intakes for Australians. These findings suggest that athletes who consume a diet rich in antioxidants have elevated plasma α-tocopherol and β-carotene that were likely to be brought about by adaptive processes resulting from regular exercise.

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Steven R. McAnulty, David C. Nieman, Lisa S. McAnulty, Worley S. Lynch, Fuxia Jin and Dru A. Henson

Consumption of plant flavonoids, antioxidants, and n-3 fatty acids is proposed to have many potential health benefits derived primarily through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. This study examined the effects of 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C (QC); 1,000 mg quercetin, 1,000 mg vitamin C, 400 mg isoquercetin, 30 mg epigallocatechin gallate, and 400 mg n-3 fatty acids (QFO); or placebo (P), taken each day for 2 wk before and during 3 d of cycling at 57% Wmax for 3 hr, on plasma antioxidant capacity (ferricreducing ability of plasma [FRAP], oxygen-radical absorbance capacity [ORAC]), plasma oxidative stress (F2-isoprostanes), and plasma quercetin and vitamin C levels. Thirty-nine athletes were recruited and randomized to QC, QFO, or P. Blood was collected at baseline, after 2 wk supplementation, immediately postexercise, and 14 hr postexercise. Statistical design used a 3 (groups) × 4 (times) repeated-measures ANOVA with post hoc analyses. Plasma quercetin was significantly elevated in QC and QFO compared with P. Plasma F2-isoprostanes, FRAP, and vitamin C were significantly elevated and ORAC significantly decreased immediately postexercise, but no difference was noted in the overall pattern of change. Post hoc analyses revealed that the QC and QFO groups did not exhibit a significant increase in F2-isoprostanes from baseline to immediately postexercise compared with P. This study indicates that combining flavonoids and antioxidants with n-3 fatty acids is effective in reducing the immediate postexercise increase in F2-isoprostanes. Moreover, this effect occurs independently of changes in plasma antioxidant capacity.

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Amy M. Knab, David C. Nieman, Nicholas D. Gillitt, R. Andrew Shanely, Lynn Cialdella-Kam, Dru A. Henson and Wei Sha

The effects of a flavonoid-rich fresh fruit and vegetable juice (JUICE) on chronic resting and postexercise inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and metabolic profiles (metabolomics analysis, gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry platform) in elite sprint and middle-distance swimmers were studied. In a randomized, crossover design with a 3-wk washout period, swimmers (n = 9) completed 10-d training with or without 16 fl oz of JUICE (230 mg flavonoids) ingested pre- and postworkout. Blood samples were taken presupplementation, post–10-d supplementation, and immediately postexercise, with data analyzed using a 2 × 3 repeated-measures ANOVA. Prestudy blood samples were also acquired from nonathletic controls (n = 7, age- and weight-matched) and revealed higher levels of oxidative stress in the swimmers, no differences in inflammation or immune function, and a distinct separation in global metabolic scores (R2Y [cum] = .971). Swim workouts consisted of high-intensity intervals (1:1, 1:2 swim-to-rest ratio) and induced little inflammation, oxidative stress, or immune changes. A distinct separation in global metabolic scores was found pre- to postexercise (R2Y [cum] = .976), with shifts detected in a small number of metabolites related to substrate utilization. No effect of 10-d JUICE was found on chronic resting levels or postexercise inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and shifts in metabolites. In conclusion, sprint and middle-distance swimmers had a slight chronic elevation in oxidative stress compared with nonathletic controls, experienced a low magnitude of postworkout perturbations in the biomarkers included in this study, and received no apparent benefit other than added nutrient intake from ingesting JUICE pre- and postworkout for 10 days.

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Alfredo Córdova, Antoni Sureda, María L. Albina, Victoria Linares, Montse Bellés and Domènec J. Sánchez

The aim was to determine the levels and activities of the oxidative stress markers in erythrocytes, plasma, and urine after a flat cyclist stage. Eight voluntary male professional trained-cyclists participated in the study. Exercise significantly increased erythrocyte, leukocyte, platelet, and reticulocyte counts. The exercise induced significant increases in the erythrocyte activities of catalase (19.8%) and glutathione reductase (19.2%), while glutathione peroxidase activity decreased significantly (29.3%). Erythrocyte GSSG concentration was significantly increased after exercise (21.4%), whereas GSH was significantly diminished (20.4%). Erythrocyte malondialdehyde levels evidenced a significant decrease 3 h after finishing the stage (44.3%). Plasma malondialdehyde, GSH and GSSG levels significantly decreased after 3 hr recovery (26.8%, 48.6%, and 31.1%, respectively). The exercise significantly increased the F2-isoprostane concentration in urine from 359 ± 71 pg/mg creatinine to 686 ± 139 pg/mg creatinine. In conclusion, a flat cycling stage induced changes in oxidative stress markers in erythrocytes, plasma, and urine of professional cyclists. Urine F2-isoprostane is a more useful biomarker for assessing the effects of acute exercise than the traditional malondialdehyde measurement.

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Jonathan D.C. Leeder, Ken A. van Someren, David Gaze, Andrew Jewell, Nawed I.K. Deshmukh, Iltaf Shah, James Barker and Glyn Howatson

Purpose:

This investigation aimed to ascertain a detailed physiological profile of recovery from intermittentsprint exercise of athletes familiar with the exercise and to investigate if athletes receive a protective effect on markers of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), inflammation, and oxidative stress after a repeated exposure to an identical bout of intermittent-sprint exercise.

Methods:

Eight well-trained male team-sport athletes of National League or English University Premier Division standard (mean ± SD age 23 ± 3 y, VO2max 54.8 ± 4.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1) completed the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) on 2 occasions, separated by 14 d. Maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MIVC), countermovement jump (CMJ), creatine kinase (CK), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), F2-isoprostanes, and muscle soreness (DOMS) were measured before and up to 72 h after the initial and repeated LISTs.

Results:

MIVC, CMJ, CK, IL-6, and DOMS all showed main effects for time (P < .05) after the LIST, indicating that EIMD was present. DOMS peaked at 24 h after LIST 1 (110 ± 53 mm), was attenuated after LIST 2 (56 ± 39 mm), and was the only dependent variable to demonstrate a reduction in the second bout (P = .008). All other markers indicated that EIMD did not differ between bouts.

Conclusion:

Well-trained games players experienced EIMD after exposure to both exercise tests, despite being accustomed to the exercise type. This suggests that well-trained athletes receive a very limited protective effect from the first bout.

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Judith Allgrove, Emily Farrell, Michael Gleeson, Gary Williamson and Karen Cooper

This study investigated the effects of regular consumption of dark chocolate (DC), rich in cocoa polyphenols, on plasma metabolites, hormones, and markers of oxidative stress after prolonged exhaustive exercise. Twenty active men cycled at 60% maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) for 1.5 hr, with the intensity increased to 90% VO2max for a 30-s period every 10 min, followed by a ride to exhaustion at 90% VO2max. In the 2 wk before exercise participants consumed 40 g of DC or an isocarbohydrate-fat control cocoa liquor–free chocolate (CON) twice daily and once 2 hr before exercise in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover design. Venous blood samples were taken immediately before exercise, postexercise (fixed duration), postexhaustion, and after 1 hr of recovery. F2-isoprostanes were significantly lower (post hoc tests: p < .001) at exhaustion and after 1 hr of recovery with DC. Oxidized low-density lipoproteins were significantly lower with DC (p < .001) both before and after exercise and at exhaustion. DC was also associated with ~21% greater rises in free fatty acids during exercise (main effect: p < .05). Changes in circulating glucose, insulin, glucagon, cortisol, and interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and IL-1ra were unaffected by treatment. Time to exhaustion at 90% VO2max was not significantly different between trials (398 ± 204 and 374 ± 194 s for DC and CON, respectively). These results suggest that regular DC intake is associated with reduced oxidative-stress markers and increased mobilization of free fatty acids after exercise but has no observed effect on exercise performance.

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David C. Nieman, Giuseppe Valacchi, Laurel M. Wentz, Francesca Ferrara, Alessandra Pecorelli, Brittany Woodby, Camila A. Sakaguchi and Andrew Simonson

epigallocatechin gallate, fish oil, and vitamin C reduced postexercise plasma levels of F 2 -isoprostanes in cyclists after a 3-day period of overreaching ( McAnulty et al., 2011 ). Other studies have shown that prolonged and intensive exercise increases plasma protein carbonyls ( Bloomer et al., 2005 , 2007