• antioxidant;
  • inflammation;
  • adiponectin;
  • exercise;
  • lipid peroxidation


Objective: To determine whether antioxidant (AOX) supplementation attenuates post-exercise oxidative stress and contributors to oxidative stress (inflammation, blood lipids) in overweight young adults.

Research Methods and Procedures: This was a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. Overweight (BMI, 33.2 ± 1.9 kg/m2) and comparative normal-weight (BMI, 21.9 ± 0.5 kg/m2) adults 18 to 30 years old (total N = 48) were enrolled. Participants received either daily antioxidant (AOX) treatment (800 IU of vitamin E, 500 mg of vitamin C, 10 mg of β-carotene) or placebo (PL) for 8 weeks for a total of four groups. All participants completed a standardized 30-minute cycle exercise bout at baseline and 8 weeks. Exercise-induced changes in lipid hydroperoxide (ΔPEROX), C-reactive protein (ΔCRP), interleukin-6 (ΔIL-6), cholesterol subfractions, triglycerides, total AOX status (ΔTAS), and adiponectin were assessed.

Results: Exercise-induced ΔPEROX was lower in the overweight-AOX group (0.09 nM/kg per min) compared with PL-treated overweight and normal-weight groups (0.98, 0.53 nM/kg per min) by 8 weeks (p < 0.05). Adiponectin was increased in both overweight and normal-weight AOX groups (22.1% vs. 3.1%; p < 0.05) but reduced in PL groups. ΔIL-6, Δtotal cholesterol, and Δlow-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations during exercise were lower in the AOX-treated groups compared with PL groups (all p < 0.05). After controlling for BMI, the Δtotal cholesterol, Δlow-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, Δadiponectin, and ΔTAS explained 59.1% of the variance of the regression model of the ΔPEROX by 8 weeks (total model R2 = 0.600; p = 0.015).

Discussion: AOX lowers exercise-induced oxidative stress in overweight adults. Inflammatory and lipid markers may also be attenuated with AOX. Further studies are needed to determine whether AOX may be used in cardiovascular disease prevention in the overweight population.