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J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005 Dec 9;2:38-44. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-2-2-38.

The antioxidant role of glutathione and N-acetyl-cysteine supplements and exercise-induced oxidative stress.

Author information

1
Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, Baylor University, Waco, TX. Chad_Kerksick@baylor.edu.

Abstract

An increase in exercise intensity is one of the many ways in which oxidative stress and free radical production has been shown to increase inside our cells. Effective regulation of the cellular balance between oxidation and antioxidation is important when considering cellular function and DNA integrity as well as the signal transduction of gene expression. Many pathological states, such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease have been shown to be related to the redox state of cells. In an attempt to minimize the onset of oxidative stress, supplementation with various known antioxidants has been suggested. Glutathione and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) are antioxidants which are quite popular for their ability to minimize oxidative stress and the downstream negative effects thought to be associated with oxidative stress. Glutathione is largely known to minimize the lipid peroxidation of cellular membranes and other such targets that is known to occur with oxidative stress. N-acetyl-cysteine is a by-product of glutathione and is popular due to its cysteine residues and the role it has on glutathione maintenance and metabolism. The process of oxidative stress is a complicated, inter-twined series of events which quite possibly is related to many other cellular processes. Exercise enthusiasts and researchers have become interested in recent years to identify any means to help minimize the detrimental effects of oxidative stress that are commonly associated with intense and unaccustomed exercise. It is possible that a decrease in the amount of oxidative stress a cell is exposed to could increase health and performance.

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