Phlebodium decumanum is a natural supplement that ameliorates the oxidative stress and inflammatory signalling induced by strenuous exercise in adult humans

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Aug;112(8):3119-28. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2295-3. Epub 2012 Jan 3.


Strenuous exercise induces muscle damage due to a highly increased generation of free radicals and inflammatory response and therefore, in this type of exercise, it is important to reduce both oxidative stress and inflammation, at least their negative aspects. The purpose of this study was investigate, for the first time, whether a purified, standard water-soluble fraction obtained from Phlebodium decamanum could reduce the over-expression of inflammation and oxidative stress induced by strenuous exercise. The physical test consisted of a constant run that combined several degrees of high effort (mountain run and ultra-endurance), in permanent climbing. Biochemical parameters, oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators were assessed. The results showed that oral supplementation of P. decumanum during high-intensity exercise effectively reduces the degree of oxidative stress (decreased 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine and isoprostanes generation, increased antioxidant enzyme activities in erythrocyte and total antioxidant status in plasma). The data obtained also indicate that this supplementation is efficient in reducing the inflammatory response through the decrease of TNF-α and increase of sTNF-RII, but kept the levels of IL-6 and IL-1ra. In conclusion, oral supplementation of P. decamanum extract during high-intensity exercise effectively reduces the degree of oxidative stress and has anti-inflammatory protective effects, preventing the over-expression of TNF-α but keeping the levels and effects of IL-6. These findings provide a basis for similar Phlebodium supplementation for both professional and amateur athletes performing strenuous exercise in order to reduce the undesirable effects of the oxidative stress and inflammation signalling elicited during high-intensity exercise.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Catalase / blood
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / urine
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Isoprostanes / urine
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / immunology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Polypodiaceae* / chemistry
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II / blood
  • Rhizome
  • Running
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Spain
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • IL1RN protein, human
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Interleukin-6
  • Isoprostanes
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II
  • TNFRSF1B protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Deoxyguanosine