News Release

Ascorbic acid supplementation and immune response in healthy women during high-intensity exercise

This article by Dr. Piyawan Bunpo and colleagues is published in the journal, The Open Sports Sciences Journal

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Bentham Science Publishers

The benefits of taking extra Ascorbic Acid (AA) while exercising are not well known.

This study aims to investigate the effects of AA supplementation on oxidative stress, immune response, and inflammation in healthy women after a single session of high-intensity exercise.

In a crossover design, 20 sedentary women (aged 18-22) participated in 30 minutes of vigorous cycling. They were split into two groups: one group received a daily supplement of 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid (1,000AA), while the other group did not receive any supplementation (0AA). This regimen was followed for one week. Blood samples were taken before exercise, immediately after exercise, and 24 hours after exercise to analyze oxidative stress, inflammatory markers, CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, and neutrophil phagocytic activity.  

The AA supplement significantly increased plasma AA levels (p<0.05) and reduced post-exercise plasma MDA levels (p<0.05) but did not affect creatine kinase activity. White blood cells, CD8+ T cells, and IL-6 levels significantly increased after exercise but did not change in the 1,000AA group compared to the 0AA group. The neutrophil count increased (p<0.05) after exercise with no change in phagocytic function, although there was a slight drop in phagocytic function 24 hours after exercise in the 1,000AA group. Exercise and AA supplements had no effect on CD4+ T cells.

A single session of high-intensity exercise caused oxidative stress, muscle injury, inflammation, and a temporary increase in CD8+ T cells. Short-term AA supplementation reduced exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation by limiting the increase in IL-6 and CD8+ T cells.

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