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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Apr;39(4):446-57. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2013-0331. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Effects of docosahexaenoic acid diet supplementation, training, and acute exercise on oxidative balance in neutrophils.

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Laboratory of Physical Activity Sciences, University of the Balearic Islands, Crtra. Valldemossa, km 7.5, E-07122, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and CIBER: CB12/03/30038 Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición, CIBERobn, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain.


Diet supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids could influence the oxidative equilibrium, enhancing a pro-oxidant status. The aim was to determine the effects of diet supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), training, and acute exercise on oxidative balance in neutrophils. Fifteen volunteer male soccer players were randomly assigned to a placebo or experimental group. The placebo group was supplemented with an almond-based beverage whereas the experimental group was supplemented with the same beverage enriched with DHA, in addition to their Mediterranean-type diet. Three blood samples were taken: in basal conditions at the beginning of the nutritional intervention and after 8 weeks of training season in basal and postexercise conditions. The training season significantly increased the antioxidant defenses of neutrophils, such as catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase enzyme activities; and decreased oxidative damage markers such as malondialdehyde, carbonyl and nitrotyrosine indexes. Oxidative damage markers decreased in neutrophils after acute exercise, which primed neutrophils to produce reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) after immune stimulation with zymosan or phorbol myristate acetate in trained footballers. DHA supplementation resulted in no significant effects on oxidative stress balance in neutrophils. In conclusion, DHA supplementation did not modify the adaptive response of the antioxidant system of neutrophils to training or the production of RONS induced by immune stimulation after acute exercise.

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