Oxidative stress and aging. Role of exercise and its influences on antioxidant systems

Li Li Ji, Chris Leeuwenburgh, Steve Leichtweis, Mitch Gore, Russel Fiebig, John Hollander, Jeffery Bejma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Strenuous exercise is characterized by an increased oxygen consumption and disturbance of intracellular prooxidant-antioxidant homeostasis. At least three biochemical pathways, that is, mitochondrial electron transport chain, xanthine oxidase, and polymorphoneutrophil have been identified as potential sources of intracellular free radical generation during exercise. These deleterious reactive oxygen species pose a serious threat to the cellular antioxidant defense system, such as diminished reserve of antioxidant vitamins and glutathione, and have been shown to cause oxidative damage in exercising and/or exercised muscle and other tissues. However, enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants have demonstrated great versatility and adaptability in response to acute and chronic exercise. The delicate balance between prooxidants and antioxidants during exercise may be altered with aging. Study of the complicated interaction between aging and exercise under the influence of reactive oxygen species would provide more definitive information as to how much aged individuals should be involved in physical activity and,whether supplementation of nutritional antioxidants would be desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-117
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


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