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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 May;112(5):1645-52. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2122-x. Epub 2011 Aug 28.

Effect of short-term cryostimulation on antioxidative status and its clinical applications in humans.

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Rehabilitation Ward, III General Hospital in Lodz, Milionowa 14, Lodz, Poland.


Whole body cryostimulation (WBCT) is becoming popular in medicine and sport as an adjuvant form of treatment since late 1970s. Only a few works concerning antioxidant protection after WBCT have been published. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a ten 3-min-long exposures (one exposure per day) to cryogenic temperature (-130 °C) on the level of total antioxidant status (TAS), activity of selected antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) and main non-enzymatic antioxidant-uric acid (UA) in WBCT study group (man n = 24; female n = 22) and non-WBCT control subjects (man n = 22; female n = 26). Moreover, we evaluated the lipid peroxidation measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances products. Their blood samples were collected twice at an interval of 10 days in both study group and control subjects. The activity of antioxidant enzyme and lipid peroxidation was assayed in erythrocytes, while the concentration of uric acid was measured in plasma. After completing a total of ten WBCT sessions a significant increase (p < 0.001) of TAS and UA levels in plasma (p < 0.001) in comparison to non-WBCT was observed. Our data showed that there was statistically significant increase of the activities of SOD in erythrocytes obtained from WBCT study group compared to non-WBCT controls after 10 days of treatment (p < 0.001). It was concluded that expositions to extremely low temperatures use in cryostimulation improve the antioxidant capacity of organism.

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