Astaxanthin limits exercise-induced skeletal and cardiac muscle damage in mice.

Dietary antioxidants may attenuate oxidative damage from strenuous

exercise in various tissues. Beneficial effects of the antioxidant

astaxanthin have been demonstrated in vitro, but not yet in vivo. We

investigated the effect of dietary supplementation with astaxanthin on

oxidative damage induced by strenuous exercise in mouse gastrocnemius

and heart. C57BL/6 mice (7 weeks old) were divided into groups: rested

control, intense exercise, and exercise with astaxanthin

supplementation. After 3 weeks of exercise acclimation, both exercise

groups ran on a treadmill at 28 m/min until exhaustion.

Exercise-increased 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified protein and

8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine in gastrocnemius and heart were blunted

in the astaxanthin group. Increases in plasma creatine kinase activity,

and in myeloperoxidase activity in gastrocnemius and heart, also were

lessened by astaxanthin. Astaxanthin showed accumulation in

gastrocnemius and heart from the 3 week supplementation. Astaxanthin can

attenuate exercise-induced damage in mouse skeletal muscle and heart,

including an associated neutrophil infiltration that induces further


Antioxid Redox Signal. 2003 Feb;5(1):139-44

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