The natural polyphenols mangiferin and luteolin have free radical-scavenging properties, induce the antioxidant gene program and down-regulate the expression of superoxide-producing enzymes. However, the effects of these two polyphenols on exercise capacity remains mostly unknown. To determine whether a combination of luteolin (peanut husk extract containing 95% luteolin, PHE) and mangiferin (mango leave extract (MLE), Zynamite®) at low (PHE: 50 mg/day; and 140 mg/day of MLE containing 100 mg of mangiferin; L) and high doses (PHE: 100 mg/day; MLE: 420 mg/day; H) may enhance exercise performance, twelve physically active men performed incremental exercise to exhaustion, followed by sprint and endurance exercise after 48 h (acute effects) and 15 days of supplementation (prolonged effects) with polyphenols or placebo, following a double-blind crossover design. During sprint exercise, mangiferin + luteolin supplementation enhanced exercise performance, facilitated muscle oxygen extraction, and improved brain oxygenation, without increasing the VO₂. Compared to placebo, mangiferin + luteolin increased muscle O₂ extraction during post-exercise ischemia, and improved sprint performance after ischemia-reperfusion likely by increasing glycolytic energy production, as reflected by higher blood lactate concentrations after the sprints. Similar responses were elicited by the two doses tested. In conclusion, acute and prolonged supplementation with mangiferin combined with luteolin enhances performance, muscle O₂ extraction, and brain oxygenation during sprint exercise, at high and low doses.
Keywords: O2 extraction; ergogenic aids; exercise; ischemia; metabolism; performance; polyphenols; reperfusion; sports nutrition.