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Int J Med Sci. 2018 Jul 30;15(11):1217-1226. doi: 10.7150/ijms.26340. eCollection 2018.

Short-Term High-Dose Vitamin C and E Supplementation Attenuates Muscle Damage and Inflammatory Responses to Repeated Taekwondo Competitions: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.

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Physical Education Office, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei City, Taiwan.
Department of Chinese Martial Arts, Chinese Culture University, Taipei City, Taiwan.
Endurance Research Group, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent, Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime, UK.
Department of Exercise and Health Science, University of Taipei, Taipei City, Taiwan.
Department of Exercise and Health Science, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei City, Taiwan.


Background: Exercise-induced muscle damage during intensive sport events is a very common issue in sport medicine. Therefore, the purpose is to investigate the effects of short-term high-dose vitamin C and E supplementation on muscle damage, hemolysis, and inflammatory responses to simulated competitive Olympic Taekwondo (TKD) matches in elite athletes. Methods: Using a randomized placebo-controlled and double-blind study design, eighteen elite male TKD athletes were weight-matched and randomly assigned into either a vitamin C and E group (Vit C+E; N = 9) or placebo group (PLA; N = 9). Vit C+E or PLA supplements were taken daily (Vit C+E: 2000 mg/d vitamin C; 1400 U/d vitamin E) for 4 days (3 days before and on competition day) before taking part in 4 consecutive TKD matches on a single day. Plasma samples were obtained before each match and 24-hours after the first match for determination of markers of muscle damage, hemolysis, and systemic inflammatory state. Results: Myoglobin was lower in the Vit C+E group, compared to PLA, during the match day (area under curve, AUC -47.0% vs. PLA, p = 0.021). Plasma creatine kinase was lower in the Vit C+E group (AUC -57.5% vs. PLA, p = 0.017) and hemolysis was lower in the Vit C+E group (AUC -40.5% vs. PLA, p = 0.034). Conclusions: We demonstrated that short-term (4-days) vitamin C and E supplementation effectively attenuated exercise-induced tissue damage and inflammatory response during and after successive TKD matches.


antioxidant; hemolysis; inflammation; muscle damage; myoglobin

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