Taking vitamin C and vitamin E prevents
metabolic damage associated with extreme exercise
It's good news about vitamins: if you're a marathoner or hitting
the physical exercise hard, be sure to take vitamins C and E.
New research shows that doing so prevents metabolic damage caused
by extreme exercise.
A new study by researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon
State University found that ultramarathon runners who used supplements
of vitamins C and E for six weeks prior to their races totally
prevented the increase in lipid oxidation that is otherwise associated
with extreme exercise.
Half of the runners were given daily supplements of 1,000 milligrams
vitamin C and 400 international units of vitamin E for six weeks
prior to the race, while the other half ate only their normal,
An analysis of "biomarkers" in the control group that
received no supplements showed significant increases in lipid
peroxidation following the race - these biomarkers were at levels
that are often seen after someone has had a heart attack.
"This study clearly showed that supplementation with these
antioxidant vitamins could help prevent the significant levels
of lipid oxidation that are associated with intense exercise,"
said Angela Mastaloudis, an LPI researcher and co-author on the
According to Mastaloudis and Maret Traber, a co-author and professor
with the Linus Pauling Institute, the findings of this study may
have ramifications far beyond just people who undergo unusual
Oxidative stress and higher levels of lipid oxidation are seen
in a wide range of health problems, ranging from diabetes to heart
disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, smoking and even obesity,
the researchers said.
"We often can't do dietary studies with people who are very
ill, due to ethical concerns, so we used marathon runners to learn
more about the effects of stress and ways to prevent damage from
Traber and Mastaloudis said they wanted to stress that antioxidant
vitamins are no substitute for a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet,
proper weight and regular exercise.
"However, this study does suggest that people who have high
levels of oxidative stress and lipid oxidation due to other chronic
health problems might benefit from supplements of vitamin E that
are higher than the current RDA for this vitamin," Traber