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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 Jul;83(1):189-95.

Fish oil and vitamin E supplementation in oxidative stress at rest and after physical exercise.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kuopio, 70211 Kuopio, Finland.


Fish oil supplementation and physical exercise may induce oxidative stress. We tested the effects of 8 wk of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and fish oil (FO) supplementation on resting and exercise-induced oxidative stress. Rats (n = 80) were divided into groups supplemented with FO, FO and vitamin E (FOVE), soy oil (SO), and SO and vitamin E (SOVE), and for FOVE and SOVE they were divided into corresponding exercise groups (FOVE-Ex and SOVE-Ex). Lipid peroxidation [thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances (TBARS)] was 33% higher in FO compared with SO in the liver, but oxidative protein damage (carbonyl levels) remained similar in both liver and red gastrocnemius muscle (RG). Vitamin E supplementation, compared with FO and SO, markedly decreased liver and RG TBARS, but liver TBARS remained 32% higher in FOVE vs. SOVE. Vitamin E also markedly decreased liver and RG protein carbonyl levels, although levels in FOVE and SOVE were similar. Exercise increased liver and RG TBARS and RG protein carbonyl levels markedly, with similar levels in FOVE-Ex and SOVE-Ex. FO increased lipid peroxidation but not protein oxidation in a tissue-specific manner. Vitamin E markedly decreased lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation in both FOVE and SOVE, although liver lipid peroxidation remained higher in FOVE. Despite higher levels of hepatic lipid peroxidation at rest in FOVE compared with SOVE, liver appeared to be relatively less susceptible to exercise-induced oxidative stress in FOVE.

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