The influence of antioxidant supplementation in a longitudinal study of football players

Por: C. Tsopanakis, E. Sgouraki, M. Chaniotaki e O. Emmanoulidis.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Strenuous physical exercise produces increased physical stress, while there is strong evidence that it is associated with increased free radical generation.[1] Oxygen free radicals have been implicated in exercise -induced cell and tissue injury, indicating an oxidative stress.
Adaptation to exercise training seems to reduce the oxidative stress of exercise, in such a way that well trained athletes show less evidence of lipid peroxidation for a given bout of exercise and an enhanced defense system in relation to untrained subjects. Whether the body’s natural antioxidant defense system is sufficient to counteract the increase in reactive oxygen species related to exercise (exercise intensity, level of training of athletes, environmental factors) or whether additional, exogenous supplements are needed is not yet known.[2]
In this study we measured football players, who have been under antioxidant supplementation.


Fourteen football players participated in this study. They were aged 27.3±3.0 yrs and were in healthy condition. Before they were selected, they completed a questionnaire regarding their diet, medication and smoking habits.
All the players had special diet, rich in antioxidant foods and their antioxidant supplementation was: multivitamins (E and C), minerals (Se and Mg), Co-enzyme Q10, at special doses depending on training load.
The football team was measured at four special times during local football championships as follows: first measurement was after the basic preparation of the team, second at the main period of training, third about the end of local championships and the fourth after one month vacations.
Venous blood was drawn in the morning (at resting position).
All the athletes had abstained for 12h from lipid consumption before measurment.
The hematological, biochemical and hormonal parameters measured were as follows: hematocrite, hemoglobin, serum iron, ferritin, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-C; the fatigue enzymes GOT, GPT, CK; the antioxidant parameters, uric acid, bilirubin, ceruloplasmin; the physical stress hormones testosterone and cortisol and only at the third and fourth period we measured Total antioxidant status (RANDOX).
To analyze the data we used SPSS/PS program and paired t-test.


Physical stress was high at all training periods (high cortisol levels and ratio testosterone/cortisol). In contrast uric acid and enzyme activities were low, although training load was increased.
Total antioxidant status at the end of championships was low, which probably means that the antioxidant supplementation helped the antioxidant defense system of athletes. In contrast, total antioxidant status after one month of vacation (without training and supplementation) was 27% (p<0.05) higher compared to the third period (end of championships) in the same group of athletes.


[1]. Tsopanakis C., Tsopanakis A. (1998). Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. Vol.60(3).pp747-751.
[2]. Clarkson P.M., Thompson A.S. (2000). Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. Vol.72(2). pp 673S-646.




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