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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 Mar;50(2):106-13. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.11-46. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Oligomerized lychee fruit extract (OLFE) and a mixture of vitamin C and vitamin E for endurance capacity in a double blind randomized controlled trial.

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1
Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University.

Abstract

Antioxidant supplementations are commonly used as an ergogenic aid for physical exercise despite its limited evidence. The study aimed to investigate the effects of a polyphenol mixture and vitamins on exercise endurance capacity. Seventy regularly exercising male participants were randomly assigned to receive oligomerized lychee fruit extract, a mixture of vitamin C (800 mg) and E (320 IU), or a placebo for 30 consecutive days. The study results showed that oligomerized lychee fruit extract significantly elevated the submaximal running time (p = 0.01). The adjusted mean change was 3.87 min (95% CI: 1.29, 6.46) for oligomerized lychee fruit extract, 1.33 (-1.23, 3.89) for the vitamins, and 1.60 (-1.36, 4.56) for the placebo (p = 0.33 in between groups). Oligomerized lychee fruit extract significantly increased the anaerobic threshold by 7.4% (1.8, 13.0). On the other hand, vitamins significantly attenuated VO(2)max by -3.11 ml/kg/m (-5.35, -0.87). Their effects on plasma free radical amount, however, were similar. Our results suggest that a polyphenol-containing supplement and typical antioxidants may have different mechanisms of action and that the endurance-promoting effect of oligomerized lychee fruit extract may not directly come from the scavenging of free radicals but may be attributed to other non-antioxidant properties of polyphenols, which requires further investigation.

KEYWORDS:

antioxidant; endurance capacity; lychee; polyphenol; vitamin

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