Effect of zinc supplementation on antioxidant activity in young wrestlers

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Apr;134(1):55-63. doi: 10.1007/s12011-009-8457-z. Epub 2009 Jul 14.


This study aims to examine the effect of zinc supplementation on free-radical formation and antioxidant system in individuals who are actively engaged in wrestling as a sport. The study registered a total of 40 male subjects, of whom 20 were wrestlers and 20 were sedentary individuals. The subjects were equally allocated to four groups: group 1, zinc-supplemented sportsmen group; group 2, sportsmen group without supplementation; group 3, zinc-supplemented sedentary group; group 4, sedentary group without supplementation. Blood samples were collected from all subjects twice, once at the beginning of the study and once again at the end of 8-week procedures. The blood samples collected were analyzed to determine the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), serum glutathione (GSH), serum glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity (ELISA colorimetric method) and zinc (colorimetric method). No difference was found between MDA levels of the study groups in the beginning of the study. The highest MDA value at the end of the study was obtained in group 4 (p < 0.01). MDA levels in group 2 were established to be significantly higher than those in groups 1 and 3 (p < 0.01). GSH level, GPx, and SOD activities and zinc level measured in the beginning of the study were not different between groups. Measurements performed at the end of the study showed that groups 1 and 3 (zinc-supplemented groups) had the highest GSH level, GPx, and SOD activities and zinc level (p < 0.01). These parameters were not different in the groups without supplementation (groups 2 and 4). Results obtained at the end of the study indicate that zinc supplementation prevents production of free radicals by activating the antioxidant system. In conclusion, physiologic doses of zinc supplementation to athletes may beneficially contribute to their health and performance.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Athletes*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Free Radicals / blood
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Wrestling*
  • Zinc* / administration & dosage
  • Zinc* / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • Zinc