The study tested whether anserine (beta-alanyl-3-methyl-l-histidine), the active ingredient of chicken essence affects exercise-induced oxidative stress, cell integrity, and haematology biomarkers. In a randomized placebo-controlled repeated-measures design, ten healthy men ingested anserine in either a low dose (ANS-LD) 15 mg.kg-1.bw-1, high dose (ANS-HD) 30 mg.kg-1.bw-1, or placebo (PLA), following an exercise challenge (time to exhaustion), on three separate occasions. Anserine supplementation increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) by 50% (p < 0.001, effect size d = 0.8 for both ANS-LD and ANS-HD), and preserved catalase (CAT) activity suggesting an improved antioxidant activity. However, both ANS-LD and ANS-HD elevated glutathione disulfide (GSSG), (both p < 0.001, main treatment effect), and consequently lowered the glutathione to glutathione disulfide (GSH/GSSG) ratio compared with PLA (p < 0.01, main treatment effect), without significant effects on thiobarbituric acid active reactive substances (TBARS). Exercise-induced cell damage biomarkers of glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and myoglobin were unaffected by anserine. There were slight but significant elevations in glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and creatine kinase isoenzyme (CKMB), especially in ANS-HD (p < 0.05) compared with ANS-LD or PLA. Haematological biomarkers were largely unaffected by anserine, its dose, and without interaction with post exercise time-course. However, compared with ANS-LD and PLA, ANS-HD increased the mean cell volume (MCV), and decreased the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) (p < 0.001). Anserine preserves cellular homoeostasis through enhanced antioxidant activity and protects cell integrity in healthy men, which is important for chronic disease prevention. However, anserine temporal elevated exercise-induced cell-damage, together with enhanced antioxidant activity and haematological responses suggest an augmented exercise-induced adaptative response and recovery.
Keywords: anserine; cell damage; exercise recovery; haematocrit; nutraceutical; oxidative stress.