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Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018 Sep 11;6(9):1594-1598. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2018.337. eCollection 2018 Sep 25.

Protective Role of Vitamin C Intake on Muscle Damage in Male Adolescents Performing Strenuous Physical Activity.

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Nutrition and Food Science Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.



Strenuous non-regular exercise increases reactive oxygen species ROS level leading to an impaired balance between the endogenous antioxidant defence system and the free radicals production. Antioxidants intake can detoxify the peroxides produced during exercise, attenuating the inflammatory responses and therefore may prevent exercise-induced muscle damage.


The purpose of this study was to determine the role of vitamin C intake in attenuating markers of muscle damage, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in male adolescents performing the non-regular strenuous exercise.


Twenty recreationally active male adolescents were assigned to participate in the study. Eligible subjects performed strenuous recreational exercise (2-3 times per week) were randomly divided into two groups: The vitamin C (VC) group that consumed 500 mg of capsulated vitamin C after breakfast for a period of 90 days and the placebo (PL) group that consumed identical capsules in form and aspect that contained 500 mg of maltodextrin for the same period. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were assessed for muscle damage. Malondialdehyde (MDA) was evaluated as a marker of lipid peroxidation. Plasma creatinine, uric acid and urea were determined to monitor kidney function. C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation was also measured.


In comparison between PL and VC groups, the plasma concentrations of muscle damage markers, oxidative stress markers, kidney function and inflammatory markers showed no significant difference in their baseline values (P > 0.05). The plasma concentrations of CK, LDH, MDA, urea, uric acid and CRP were significantly decreased in the VC group (P < 0.05) as compared to their values before the intake of vitamin C.


The present results support the intake of vitamin C as an antioxidant for attenuating exercise-induced muscle damage, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in male adolescents performing the strenuous physical activity.


C-reactive protein; Creatine kinase; Malondialdehyde; Muscle damage; Oxidative stress; Strenuous activity; Vitamin C

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