Selenium and training effects on the glutathione system and aerobic performance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Mar;27(3):390-6.


Changes in blood glutathione antioxidant system in response to exercise and training, and aerobic performance, were investigated. Selenium (Se) supplementation effects on these changes were evaluated. The study was double blind. Both groups selenium (Sel, N = 12) and placebo (Pla, N = 12), followed a 10-wk endurance training program, with a prolonged exhaustive exercise bout performed (Cap Max), before (Pre) and after (Post) training. Blood was sampled before (Bef) and after (Aft) Cap Max. The oxidation of blood glutathione after Cap Max exercise showed a reactive oxygen species production. Training developed maximal aerobic power and capacity, significantly increased (P < 0.001) plasma and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, and decreased (P < 0.001) erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity. The Se supplementation caused an increase in the basal plasma GPx level (P < 0.05). There was also a correlation (r = 0.66, P < 0.05) between the variation in VO2max and that of erythrocyte GPx only in supplemented subjects. Our results confirm that blood glutathione remains a sensitive marker of oxidative stress induced by exhausting submaximal exercise and that the antioxidant potential of GPx can be developed by endurance training. Se supplementation at the dose used had no effect on physical performance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerobiosis
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Glutathione / blood*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Glutathione Reductase / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Placebos
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Selenium / blood
  • Selenium / pharmacology*
  • Work / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Placebos
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione
  • Selenium