Vitamins Prevent Sport-related Attrition

August 23, 2004

Strenuous and exhausting physical exercise is not beneficial to your health, as it may result in damage to both the DNA (hereditary material) and the cell walls through the process of oxidation.

Vigorous and exhausting physical exercise is not beneficial to your health. The oxidation that takes place during this kind of exercise both damages the DNA (our hereditary material) and destroys the cells walls.

Actually, a general attrition takes place similar to the one our body is exposed to during an operation, a heart attack, or another kind of violent strain. The proofs of the damages can be found in blood samples and urine tests.

However, a new study has shown that a lot of the damages can be prevented in athletes if they take a supplement of the vitamins E and -C before demanding performances. Both of the vitamins are antioxidants, i.e. they prevent the unintentional oxidation of the cell walls and thereby the destruction of the cellular functions.

Many athletes take supplements but proof of the supplements actually working have now been established in a thorough study of American ultramarathon runners.

The study was carried out in a scientific sports institute under Oregon State University. Starting six weeks prior to the long 50 km. (31 miles) race, 11 out of the 22 participants each took 1 g. of vitamin C and 400 I.U. of vitamin E every day while the other 11 participants were given placebo. Both before and after the race a number of tests were performed on both groups.

It turned out that the vitamins completely prevented the fats in the cell walls from going rancid (oxidation) both during and after the race. In the men who had not taken vitamins, the consequences of the exertions were measurable for at least six days while they were non-existent in the ones who had been given vitamins. Interestingly, the women got off lighter in that their tests were only elevated for a couple of hours after the race even though they had not taken any supplements.

The spokesperson for the researchers is professor Maret Traber. With a background including several honorary tasks and more than 160 scientific articles, she is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of Vitamin E.

Based on the study, she declared that if you suffer from chronic health problems, you may very well benefit from larger doses of the two vitamins than what is normally recommended. In this context, she mentions diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiac diseases, but also overweight and smoking. They are all conditions involving increased rancidity of the fats in the cell walls.

By: Vitality Council

Mastaloudis A., Morrow JA, Hopkins DW, Devaraj S, Traber M. Antioxidant supplementation prevents exercise-induced lipid peroxidation, but not inflammation, in ultramarathon runners. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2004;36(10):1329-1341.