Strenuous endurance training in humans reduces oxidative stress following exhausting exercise

H. Miyazaki, S. Oh-ishi, T. Ookawara, T. Kizaki, K. Toshinai, S. Ha, S. Haga, L. L. Ji, H. Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether high-intensity endurance training would alleviate exercise-induced oxidative stress. Nine untrained male subjects (aged 19-21 years) participated in a 12-week training programme, and performed an acute period of exhausting exercise on a cycle ergometer before and after training. The training programme consisted of running at 80% maximal exercise heart rate for 60 min · day-1, 5 days · week-1for 12 weeks. Blood samples were collected at rest and immediately after exhausting exercise for measurements of indices of oxidative stress, and antioxidant enzyme activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and catalase (CAT)] in the erythrocytes. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) increased significantly (P < 0.001) after training, indicating an improvement in aerobic capacity. A period of exhausting exercise caused an increase (P < 0.01) in the ability to produce neutrophil superoxide anion (O2·-) both before and after endurance training, but the magnitude of the increase was smaller after training (P < 0.05). There was a significant increase in lipid peroxidation in the erythrocyte membrane, but not in oxidative protein, after exhausting exercise, however training attenuated this effect. At rest, SOD and GPX activities were increased after training. However, there was no evidence that exhausting exercise enhanced the levels of any antioxidant enzyme activity. The CAT activity was unchanged either by training or by exhausting exercise. These results indicate that high-intensity endurance training can elevate antioxidant enzyme activities in erythrocytes, and decrease neutrophil O2·-production in response to exhausting exercise. Furthermore, this up-regulation in antioxidant defences was accompanied by a reduction in exercise-induced lipid peroxidation in erythrocyte membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (10308001) by The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Japan. The authors thank Mr. Masahiko Segawa (National Defence Medical College, Tok-orozawa) for his excellent technical help.


  • Antioxidant enzyme
  • Endurance training
  • Erythrocyte
  • Oxidative damage
  • Superoxide anion


Dive into the research topics of 'Strenuous endurance training in humans reduces oxidative stress following exhausting exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this