Vitamin C Supplementation Attenuates the Increases in Circulating Cortisol, Adrenaline and Anti-Inflammatory Polypeptides Following Ultramarathon Running

Int J Sports Med. 2001 Oct;22(7):537-43. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-17610.

Abstract

The effects of vitamin C supplementation on the alterations in the circulating concentrations of cortisol, adrenaline, interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) which accompany ultramarathon running were measured using immuno-chemiluminescence, radioimmunoassay and ELISA procedures. Forty-five participants in the 1999 Comrades 90 km marathon were divided into equal groups (n = 15) receiving 500 mg/day Vit C (VC-500), 1500 mg/day Vit C (VC-1500) or placebo (P) for 7 days before the race, on the day of the race, and for 2 days following completion. Runners recorded dietary intake before, during and after the race and provided 35 ml blood samples 15 - 18 hrs before the race, immediately post-race, 24 hrs post race and 48 hrs post-race. Twenty-nine runners (VC-1500, n = 12; VC-500, n = 10; P, n = 7) complied with all study requirements. All post-race concentrations were adjusted for plasma volume changes. Analyses of dietary intakes and blood glucose and anti-oxidant status on the day preceding the race and the day of the race did not reveal that carbohydrate intake or plasma vitamins E and A were significant confounders in the study. Mean pre-race concentrations of serum vitamin C in VC-500 and VC-1500 groups (128 +/- 31 and 153 +/- 34 micromol/l) were significantly higher than in the P group (83 +/- 39 micromol/l). Immediate post-race serum cortisol was significantly lower in the VC-1500 group (p < 0.05) than in P and VC-500 groups. When the data from VC-500 and P groups was combined (n = 17), immediate post-race plasma adrenaline, IL-10 and IL-1Ra concentrations were also significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the VC-1500 group. The study demonstrates an attenuation, albeit transient, of both the adrenal stress hormone and anti-inflammatory polypeptide response to prolonged exercise in runners who supplemented with 1500 mg vitamin C per day when compared to < or = 500 mg per day.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / blood*
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Epinephrine / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Running / physiology*
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1
  • Vitamin A
  • Interleukin-10
  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Epinephrine