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Blackcurrant Extract May Help With Post-Exercise Oxidative Stress


All forms of exercise cause some oxidative stress.  According to a new study, blackcurrant extract may help suppress the amount of oxidative stress in the body and improve recovery from exercise-induced oxidative stress.





Thirty-two healthy adults participated in the bioavailability portion of the study. The participants gave blood samples 2 hours after eating a standardized breakfast. They then consumed 2 blackcurrant extract capsules containing 0.8, 1.6, or 3.2 mg/kg total anthocyanins or a placebo. Blood samples were taken again at 0.5, 1, 2, and 6 hours after ingestion. 





The participants who took the 3.2 mg/kg dose showed an increase in plasma anthocyanins 1 hour after consumption of the extract. This peaked after 2 hours. All of the participants who consumed the blackcurrant extract showed a significant increase in plasma anthocyanins compared to those who took the placebo.





For the pilot intervention trial, 32 healthy people who exercised daily were chosen to participate. They were given 2 capsules containing 0.8, 1.6, or 3.2 mg/kg total anthocyanins or a placebo. The researchers took a blood sample and gave the participants a heart monitor. One hour after ingestion, the participants performed a 30-minute rowing exercise at 70% VO2max.  Upon completion, another blood sample was taken, and the distance rowed, and heart rate were recorded. Blood samples were again collected at 2- and 6-hours post-exercise.





The researchers found that participants in the 0.8 and 1.6 blackcurrant group had significantly lower heart rates post-exercise compared to those who took a placebo. Participants in the 1.6 and 3.2 groups had marginally lower blood lactate levels post-exercise, 9% and 7% respectively. In addition, those in the 1.6 and 3.2 groups had elevated pre-exercise and post-exercise plasma oxidative capability compared to placebo.





The study was conducted by researchers from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research. It was published online ahead of print on May 29, 2019 in Frontiers in Nutrition – Sports and Exercise Nutrition.


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