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Antioxidant Supplements Reduce Oxidative Stress

Antioxidant Supplements Reduce Oxidative Stress, But Is That Always A Good Thing?

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In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers had untrained individuals participate in a three day exercise session. Some of the participants took vitamin C and vitamin E supplements, two antioxidant vitamins. They had muscle biopsies before and after their exercise sessions and blood drawn to look for markers of oxidative stress. As expected, the group taking vitamin C and vitamin E supplements had significantly fewer reactive oxidation species after working out than those who didn't take supplements.

In a separate experiment, a group of trained and untrained participants participated in a series of exercise sessions. Some of them took antioxidant supplements while others didnt. This time researchers measured how their cells responded to insulin after working out. One of the benefits of exercise is that it increases insulin sensitivity. This is a good thing since increased insulin sensitivity is linked with a lower risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. In this study, only participants NOT taking antioxidant supplements showed increased insulin sensitivity in response to exercise. Those taking the supplements didn't. It also didn't matter whether the participants we're trained or untrained athletes. The effect was the same.

Are Antioxidant Supplements Good For Your Health?

According to this study, supplementing with antioxidants seems to block the increase in insulin sensitivity that comes with exercise, one of the benefits of working out. It seems that the temporary increase in reactive oxygen species that exercise triggers leads to increased insulin sensitivity and improved glucose metabolism. Thats a good thing if you're worried about risk of type 2 diabetes. This research strikes another blow against antioxidant supplements. According to another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007, supplementing with antioxidant supplements increases mortality. Thats not something you want to hear if you've recently stocked up on vitamin C and vitamin E supplements.

Get Your Antioxidants Through A Natural Healthy Diet

Some athletes take antioxidant supplements in hopes of preventing some of the oxidative stress that comes with exercise. By doing this, they may be depriving themselves of some of the benefits of exercise. On the other hand, there's no evidence that getting antioxidants naturally through fruits and vegetables is unhealthy if you work out. In fact, research shows that individuals that eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other health problems associated with oxidative stress. So, be wary of getting your antioxidants from a bottle, and eat a healthy diet instead. Its the best way to get your antioxidants, especially if you exercise.

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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 02/07/2017


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