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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Sep;112(9):3361-7. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2296-2. Epub 2012 Jan 22.

The influence of endurance exercise on the antioxidative status of human skin.

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Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergy, Center of Experimental and Applied Cutaneous Physiology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117, Berlin, Germany.


Oxidative stress is supposed to be responsible for a diversity of diseases. For protection purposes, the human organism exhibits a line-up of antioxidant substances functioning as radical catchers. As a result of neutralization of free radicals, antioxidants are destroyed. Therefore, the degradation of the antioxidants can be utilized as an indirect parameter for the measurement of free radical formation. As physical exercise may also induce oxidative stress, the aim of the present study was to determine the antioxidant substances, and more precisely, the carotenoid concentration in the skin of male volunteers during different sportive exposures (cycling and running with two different exercise intensities) with resonance Raman spectroscopic measurements. The results revealed that moderate and high intensity cycling and running decrease the carotenoid concentration of the skin, whereas both sport disciplines and both exercise intensities revealed similar results. It can be concluded that above a certain threshold, physical exercise leads to oxidative stress also in the skin associated with the decrease in the antioxidant concentration. This gives rise to the impairment of the first defence line of the skin and means an increase in the risk of sun exposure-induced damage, e.g., when exercise training is performed outside. Nevertheless, it has to be emphasized that sport in general applied at moderate loads has predominantly positive effects on the health of humans especially concerning cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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