It has been shown that free radicals are increased during intensive exercise. We hypothesized that vitamin E (vit E) deficiency, which will increase oxidative stress, would augment the training-induced adaptation of antioxidant enzymes. This study investigated the interaction effect of vit E and exercise training on oxidative stress markers and activities of antioxidant enzymes in red quadriceps and white gastrocnemius of rats in a 2×2 design. Thirty-two male rats were divided into trained vit E-adequate, trained vit E-deficient, untrained vit E-adequate, and untrained vit E-deficient groups. The two trained groups swam 6 h/day, 6 days/week for 8 weeks. The two vit E-deficient groups consumed vit E-free diet for 8 weeks. Vitamin E-training interaction effect was significant on thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in both muscles. The trained vit E-deficient group showed the highest TBARS and GPX activity and the lowest SOD activity in both muscles. A significant vit E effect on glutathione reductase and catalase was present in both muscles. Glutathione reductase and catalase activities were significantly lower in the two vit E-adequate groups combined than in the two vit E-deficient groups combined in both muscles. This study shows that vit E status and exercise training have interactive effect on oxidative stress and GPX and SOD activities in rat skeletal muscles. Vitamin E deprivation augmented the exercise-induced elevation in GPX activity while inhibiting exercise-induced SOD activity, possibly through elevated oxidative stress.
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