Antioxidant supplementation and immunoendocrine responses to prolonged exercise

2013-05-24T11:08:18Z (GMT) by Glen Davison
The depression of immune cell function that is typically observed after prolonged exercise is thought to be largely mediated by increased plasma concentrations of stress hormones and cytokines and possibly oxidative stress. The aims of this thesis were to determine the effects of acute and longer term oral antioxidant supplementation on immunoendocrine responses following prolonged exercise. In study 1 (Chapter 3) it was shown that vitamin C ingested acutely before and during prolonged exercise has little or no effect on immunoendocrine responses. Furthermore, the combined ingestion of vitamin C with carbohydrate provides no additional effects compared with carbohydrate alone. However, when vitamin C was supplemented acutely, 2 h prior to, and during prolonged exercise in addition to on the night before (14 h prior) exercise this limited the fall in neutrophil oxidative burst activity (study 2, Chapter 4). This was probably a result of reduced direct oxidative damage to neutrophils with vitamin C supplementation since there were no effects on the cortisol, interleukin-6, leukocytosis or neutrophilia responses. Longer periods of antioxidant supplementation (2 - 4 weeks) may be effective at blunting the cortisol, leukocytosis and neutrophilia responses to prolonged exercise (Chapters 5 and 6) but this had no effect on in vitro measures of neutrophil function. In study 5 (Chapter 7) it was shown that acute pre-exercise dark chocolate (which contains polyphenols) ingestion has some effects on plasma oxidative stress markers and circulating insulin and glucose responses but not the immunoendocrine responses to prolonged exercise.