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Vitamin C May Help Reduce Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress

Exercise dramatically increases oxygen consumption and can cause oxidative stress. According to a new study, taking vitamin C before exercising can increase antioxidants levels in the blood and decrease oxidative stress.

The participants in the study were 19 healthy, sedentary women who had not participated in a regular exercise program for at least one year. On one exercise day, half of the participants took 1,000mg of ascorbic acid or a placebo, then performed 30 minutes of moderate intensity cycling. After a one week wash-out period, participants switched interventions and performed the cycling again. Blood samples were taken immediately before, immediately after, and 30 minutes post-exercise to determine plasma albumin, total protein, glucose, oxidative stress and muscle damage markers.

Superoxide dismutase activity was significantly increased after exercise in the placebo group, but not in the supplement group. Superoxide dismutase activity is a marker of oxidative stress in the body. In addition, plasma albumin and total protein levels increased immediately after exercise in the placebo group, and glucose decreased slightly.  These changes were not seen in the supplement group.

The study was conducted by researchers with Chiang Mai University in Thailand. It was published online ahead of print on January 21, 2019, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
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