The polyphenolic flavonoid quercetin has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant, in vitro and in murine models. However, its effect on redox status has been poorly examined in humans, particularly in combination with strenuous exercise. We hypothesized that quercetin supplementation would beneficially affect redox homeostasis in healthy individuals undergoing eccentric exercise. To test this hypothesis, the effects of chronic consumption of quercetin on glutathione system (reduced, oxidized, and reduced to oxidized glutathione ratio), oxidative damage [thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs)], antioxidant enzymatic network (catalase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase) and resistance to lysis, were investigated in erythrocytes, a traditional model widely used to study the effects of oxidative stress as well as the protective effects of antioxidants. In a two weeks controlled, randomized, crossover, intervention trial, 14 individuals ingested 2 caps (1 g/d) of quercetin or placebo. Blood samples were collected before, after 2 weeks of supplementation and after a bout of eccentric exercise. Quercetin, reduced significantly erythrocytes lipid peroxidation levels and the susceptibility to hemolysis induced by the free radical generator AAPH, while no differences in antioxidant enzyme activities and glutathione homeostasis were found between the two groups. After a single bout of eccentric exercise, quercetin supplementation improved redox status as assessed by reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio analysis and reduced TBARs levels both in erythrocytes and plasma. In conclusion, our study provides evidences that chronic quercetin supplementation has antioxidant potential prior to and after a strenuous eccentric exercise thus making the erythrocytes capable to better cope with an oxidative insult.
Nutrition Research – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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