Exercise-induced oxidative stress in older adults as a function of habitual activity level

E.P. Meijer, A.H.C. Goris, J.L.J. van Dongen, A. Bast, K.R. Westerterp*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Exercise-induced oxidative stress in older adults as a function of habitual activity level.

Meijer EP, Goris AH, van Dongen JL, Bast A, Westerterp KR.

Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVES: It has been suggested that regular physical activity might maintain and promote the antioxidant defense capacity against oxidative stress. Therefore, we assessed exercise-induced oxidative stress in relation to habitual physical activity level (PAL) in older adults. DESIGN: The study included a 2-week observation period for the measurement of average daily metabolic rate (ADMR) and PAL. Exercise-induced oxidative stress was measured during a 45-minute cycling test at submaximal intensity. SETTING: A university medical research center. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-six subjects volunteered for the study (n = 26; mean age +/- standard deviation 60 +/- 1; body mass index 27 +/- 1 kg/m2). MEASUREMENTS: PAL was determined as ADMR combined with a measurement of basal metabolic rate (BMR): PAL = ADMR/BMR. ADMR was measured over 2 weeks with the doubly labeled water method, preceded by a BMR measurement with a ventilated hood. Antipyrine oxidation was used as marker for oxidative stress in vivo. Reaction of antipyrine with hydroxyl radicals results in the formation of para-hydroxyantipyrine (p-APOH) and ortho-hydroxyantipyrine (o-APOH), where o-APOH is not formed through alternative oxygenetic pathways. RESULTS: PAL was inversely related to the exercise-induced increase in the ratio of o-APOH to native antipyrine (r = 0.49, P = .010). The relationship between PAL and exercise-induced increase in the ratio of p-APOH (r = 0.30, P = .140) or thiobarbituric acid reactive species (r = 0.31, P = .130) did not reach the level of significance. CONCLUSION: Physically active older adults have a reduced exercise-induced oxidative stress than older adults with a lower level of physical activity. It seems that regular physical activity improves the antioxidant defense capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


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