Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress before and after Vitamin C Supplementation

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Helaine M. Alessio
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Allan H. Goldfarb
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Guohua Cao
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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) was supplemented (1 g/day) for 1 day and 2 weeks in the same subjects. Plasma thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TB ARS) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) before and after 30 min submaximal exercise were measured. Different vitamin C supplementations did not affect resting TB ARS or ORAC. Following 30 min exercise, values for TBARS were 12.6 and 33% above rest with 1 day and 2 weeks of vitamin C supplementation, respectively, compared to 46% higher with placebo. ORAC did not significantly change (11%) after exercise with a placebo, nor when subjects were given vitamin C supplements for 1 day or 2 weeks (4.9% and 5.73%, respectively). TBARS:ORAC, a ratio representing oxidative stress, increased 32% (p < .05) with placebo compared to 5.8 and 25.8% with vitamin C supplements for 1 day and 2 weeks, respectively. It was concluded that exercise-induced oxidative stress was highest when subjects did not supplement with vitamin C compared to either 1 day or 2 weeks of vitamin C supplementation.

H. M. Alessio is with the PHS Department, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056. A.H. Goldfarb is with the Department of Exercise Science, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27412. G. Cao is with the Human Nutrition Research Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06296.

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