Whole-body cryostimulation--potential beneficial treatment for improving antioxidant capacity in healthy men--significance of the number of sessions

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46352. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046352. Epub 2012 Oct 15.


It is claimed that WBC (whole-body cryotherapy) enhances the resistance of the human body, also thanks to the beneficial effect on the antioxidant system. Accordingly, this research aimed to evaluate the effect of a series of whole-body cryostimulations on the level of non-enzymatic antioxidants and the activity of antioxidant enzymes in healthy men. The study was carried out on 30 young and healthy men aged 27.8±6.1 years with average body mass index and peak oxygen consumption (46.34±6.15 ml kg(-1) •min(-1)). The participants were daily exposed for 3 minutes to cryogenic temperatures (-130°C). Blood samples were obtained in the morning before cryostimulation, again 30 min after exposure and the following day in the morning, during the 1(st), 10(th) and 20(th) session. Analysis concerned changes in plasma concentrations of total protein, albumin, glucose, uric acid and ceruloplasmin, and the most important components of the antioxidant system in red blood cells: superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, reduced and oxidized glutathione. To assess the oxidative stress level the 8-isoprostane concentration in plasma was measured. The obtained results indicate that cryogenic temperatures in repeated daily treatments result in changes in the peroxidant and antioxidant status. These changes seem to depend on the number of cryostimulations. After 20 daily treatments there was an increase in SOD, SOD:CAT ratio, a decrease in the concentration of reduced and oxidized glutathione and in the activity of GPx. It could be possible that differences in the activity of GSSG-R after 20 treatments depended on the body mass index of participants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Catalase / blood
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Glutathione Reductase / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Reference Values
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione

Grant support

This paper was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Grant No: NN404 027235 and National Science Centre No: N N404 312940. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.