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J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6 Suppl 2):1616S-21S. doi: 10.1093/jn/132.6.1616S.

Supplemental vitamin C appears to slow racing greyhounds.

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and the Center for Veterinary Sports Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


During strenuous exercise, markers of oxidation increase and antioxidant capacity decreases. Antioxidants such as vitamin C may combat this oxidation stress. The benefits of vitamin C to greyhounds undertaking intense sprint exercise has not been investigated. The objective of this experiment was to determine whether a large dose (1 g or 57 mmol) of ascorbic acid influences performance and oxidative stress in greyhounds. Five adult female, trained racing greyhounds were assigned to receive each of three treatments for 4 wk per treatment: 1) no supplemental ascorbate; 2) 1 g oral ascorbate daily, administered after racing; 3) 1 g oral ascorbate daily, administered 1 h before racing. Dogs raced 500 m twice weekly. At the end of each treatment period, blood was collected before and 5 min, 60 min and 24 h after racing. Plasma ascorbate, alpha-tocopherol, thiobarbituric acid-reducing substances (TBARS) and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) concentrations were measured and adjusted to compensate for hemoconcentration after racing. TBARS, TEAC and alpha-tocopherol concentrations were unaffected by supplemental vitamin C. Plasma ascorbic acid concentrations 60 min after racing were higher in dogs that received vitamin C before racing than in dogs that either received no vitamin C or received vitamin C after racing. The dogs ran, on average, 0.2 s slower when supplemented with 1 g of vitamin C, equivalent to a lead of 3 m at the finish of a 500-m race. Supplementation with vitamin C, therefore, appeared to slow racing greyhounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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