We investigated the effects of acute exhaustive exercise and beta-carotene supplementation on urinary 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) excretion in healthy nonsmoking men. Fourteen untrained male (19-22 years old) volunteers participated in a double blind design. The subjects were randomly assigned to either the beta-carotene or placebo supplement group. Eight subjects were given 30 mg of beta-carotene per day for 1 month, while six subjects were given a placebo for the same period. All subjects performed incremental exercise to exhaustion on a bicycle ergometer both before and after the 1-month beta-carotene supplementation period. The blood lactate and pyruvate concentrations significantly increased immediately after exercise in both groups. The baseline plasma beta-carotene concentration was significantly 17-fold higher after beta-carotene supplementation. The plasma beta-carotene decreased immediately after both trials of exercise, suggesting that beta-carotene may contribute to the protection of the increasing oxidative stress during exercise. Both plasma hypoxanthine and xanthine increased immediately after exercise before and after supplementation. This thus suggests that both trials of exercise might enhance the oxidative stress. The 24-h urinary excretion of 8-OHdG was unchanged for 3 days after exercise before and after supplementation in both groups. However, the baseline urinary excretion of 8-OHdG before exercise tended to be lower after beta-carotene supplementation. These results thus suggest that a single bout of incremental exercise does not induce the oxidative DNA damage, while beta-carotene supplementation may attenuate it.