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Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Jun 15;34(12):1575-88.

Effect of vitamin E and eccentric exercise on selected biomarkers of oxidative stress in young and elderly men.

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  • 1Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Muscle damage resulting from eccentric exercise provides a useful model of oxyradical-induced injury and can be used to examine age-related responses to oxidative stress. Sixteen young (26.4 +/- 3.3 years) and 16 older (71.1 +/- 4.0 years) healthy men were randomly assigned to 1000 IU/d vitamin E or placebo for 12 weeks and ran downhill for 45 min at 75% VO(2)max, once before and following supplementation. Blood samples were obtained before (baseline) and immediately postexercise (0 h), and at 6, 24, and 72 h postexercise to determine antioxidant status, muscle damage, lipid peroxidation, and DNA damage. Following exercise, young and older men experienced similar increases in serum creatine kinase (CK), F(2alpha)-isoprostanes (iPF(2alpha); p <.001) and malondialdehyde (MDA; p <.01), although iPF(2alpha) peaked at 72 h postexercise and MDA peaked at 0 h. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) decreased at 72 h (p <.01) and correlated with the rise in iPF(2alpha), MDA, and CK in the young men (p <.05). Leukocyte 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was unaffected by exercise. Vitamin E decreased peak CK in young men, while in older men it decreased resting levels of iPF(2alpha) and suppressed the 24 h postexercise increases in iPF(2alpha) (p <.05). Thus, vitamin E supplementation induced modest changes eccentric exercise-induced oxidative stress, although differentially between the young and older subjects, while age had no direct influence on these responses among this group of physically fit subjects.

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