Essence of chicken is a popular Asian nutritional supplement that is often taken to improve metabolism and general health. Although used as a traditional remedy for combating fatigue and general health, there has been few studies investigating the ergogenic properties of chicken essence and its associated mechanism. We conducted a study to investigate the anti-fatigue and anti-oxidant properties of essence of chicken (EC) after exercise. Six weeks old male Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were divided to four groups (10 mice/group) and were provided different doses of Essence of Chicken (EC): (1) Vehicle (water), (2) EC-0.5X (558 mg/kg), (3) EC-1X (1117 mg/kg), and (4) EC-2X (2234 mg/kg). EC supplementation could improve endurance and grip strength (p < 0.0001) and it had significant effects on the fatigue-related biochemical markers: ammonia, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatine kinase (CK) levels were significantly lowered, while glucose blood levels and lactate clearance were improved after exercise challenge. Muscle and liver glycogen levels, muscle and liver superoxide dismutase (SOD), hepatic catalase (CAT), and glutathione (GSH) levels were observed to increase with EC supplementation. Preliminary in vitro data suggests that EC may have a beneficial effect in muscle mass and strength. No abnormalities were observed from pathohistological examination. Our study suggests that the EC could significantly improve exercise performance and endurance capacity and that the anti-oxidant properties of EC may be an important contributing factor to its anti-fatigue effects.
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