Background: Oxidative stress occurs during strenuous physical exercise, perhaps as a result of increased consumption of oxygen.
Materials and methods: In this study, different markers of oxidative stress were determined in eight national league American football players. Before (March) and at three time-points during the competition season (May, June, July) serum total peroxide concentrations, auto-antibody titres against oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oLab), and lag time of reactive oxygen species-induced degradation of the fluorophore 1-palmitoyl-2-((2-(4-(6-phenyl-trans-1,3,5-hexatrienyl)phenyl)ethyl)- carbonyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPHPC) were measured along with serum ascorbate, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, and beta-carotene concentrations.
Results: Before the competition season, serum antioxidant concentrations were within the lower normal range; ascorbate concentrations increased significantly during the competition period (P < 0.05). Serum peroxide concentrations were within the normal range and increased significantly during the competition period (P < 0.05); in four of the eight subjects the increase was several times the baseline values, while four athletes did not show any increase. The oLab titres increased significantly at the mid-competition period time-point (P < 0.01), but levelled off thereafter.
Discussion: Given that it could not be predicted from the baseline oxidative stress and antioxidant status which subject would respond to strenuous exercise with an increase in oxidative stress status, it is concluded that oxidative stress should be monitored in all athletes.