Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of natural antioxidant formula (blend of herbs: ginger root, cinnamon bark and raw almond fruit powder, rosemary leaf powder, and honey) on oxidative status, antioxidant enzyme activity, and relative heat shock protein (HSP-70) expression in recreational female athletes.
Materials and methods: Eighteen female participants trained for 4 weeks and randomly received either antioxidant formula (FormEX) (n = 8) or placebo (PlcEX) (n = 10) in a randomized controlled trial. Blood samples were obtained 1-h before, 1 h and 24 h postexercise to measure malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidases (GPx), and HSP70 mRNA expression. Data analysis was performed using 2 (treatment = grouping factor) ×6 (time = within-factor) repeated measurements analysis of variance or generalized estimating equations (GEE) test. We used the independent t-test to evaluate any significant differences for real-time polymerase chain reaction data.
Results: Antioxidant formula increased the relative HSP-70 mRNA expression more than Plc-EX group in all time points (P = 0.001). The time main effect was significant with regard to TAC and SOD concentrations (P = 0.001 and 0.002, respectively). However, there were no statistically significant differences between groups for TAC, SOD, and MDA (P = 0.25, 0.06, and 0.38, respectively). Neither the time main effect for MDA nor time and intervention interaction was not statistically significant for MDA, TAC, and SOD (P = 0.19, 0.13, and 0.10, respectively). GEE results for GPx showed that there were no significant differences between the groups (P = 0.11).
Conclusion: The results presented herein revealed that natural antioxidant rich formula had variable effects on oxidative status. However, in contrast to many antioxidant supplements, this formulation increases the HSP-70 mRNA expression which might improve the antioxidant ability of cells in the long-term period and exercise-induced adaptation.
Keywords: Exercise-induced adaptation; heat shock proteins; natural antioxidants.