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Study Results: Anti-Oxidants Bad for Your Workout

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 Posted 2/16/2014 11:12:14 AM
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I know that LEF will find something wrong with these studies (they always do), but for those of us that think taking anti-oxidants while working out is a way to avoid the damage of oxidation, this is very discouraging and in a way makes perfect sense. By limiting the stress on your body through anti-oxidants, you are not training your body to adjust and improve. I doubt Mr. Falloon will be highlighting this study in a future LEF issue.  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/why-vitamins-may-be-bad-for-your-workout/
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 Posted 2/25/2014 11:10:49 AM
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Life Extension has not analyzed this study yet. Here are a few preliminary points:

The article you linked to states, " . . . the volunteers who had consumed the antioxidants had significantly lower levels of the markers related to mitochondrial creation. The researchers didn’t actually count the specific populations of mitochondria within their volunteers’ muscles cells, but presumably, over time, those taking the antioxidants would see a smaller uptick in mitochondrial density than among those not taking them."

It is not always safe to presume.

The report http://jp.physoc.org/content/early/2014/01/31/jphysiol.2013.267419.full.pdf+html states, "The training-induced increases in VO 2max and running performance were not detectably affected by the supplementation."

It also states, "Our participants were supplemented with DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate, the synthetic form of vitamin E. The bioavailability and biological action of natural (D-alpha-tocopherol/RRR- alpha-tocopherol) may be different (Traberet al., 1994;Burton et al., 1998). Thus, we must be careful when comparing our results with studies that have administered the natural form of vitamin E."

Synthetic vitamin E is one of the few synthetic vitamins that has a different structure than the natural form.

Concerning the Journal of Physiology resveratrol study mentioned in the article, there was a subsequent letter published in the journal titled, "Recent data do not provide evidence that resveratrol causes ‘mainly negative' or ‘adverse' effects on exercise training in humans." Since this study only included 27 men it would be interesting to see if the data were confirmed in a larger study.

Regarding resveratrol, although the study mentioned in the article did not find improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure or arterial plaque (and found no worsening of these conditions) the compound has been shown to increase mitochondrial biogenesis http://www.jbc.org/content/288/10/6968.long 

While the studies described in the article are worthy of attention, they need to be confirmed in larger trials.

There is a tendency toward all or nothing thinking with regard to antioxidants. They are not a panacea. The body needs both antioxidant and oxidant reactions, so there is a limit at which one should curtail oxidation. Yet the oxidative stress observed in so many diseases is excessive and the thousands of studies utilizing antioxidants with positive results can't all be wrong.


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 Posted 2/25/2014 12:49:46 PM
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Thanks Dayna.
And why do they call resveratrol an anti-oxidant? 
And why are the administered levels of Vit C and E called high?
And if the vitamin group improved endurance as well as the placebo group, then maybe a mitochondria
boost is not responsible for the improvement.  The relationship of mitochondria, endurance, oxidation, and
stress, is obviously very complicated.
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 Posted 2/25/2014 12:51:28 PM
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Resveratrol does have antioxidant properties although it is not one that the body requires, like ascorbate and tocopherol.

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 Posted 2/25/2014 6:36:53 PM
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I do know that resveratrol is an antioxidant, chemically. I assume that its main feature is biological, that is, as 
a SIRT stimulator, and that that is how it would be studied.
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