Free Radicals


Experience From - Jay Hodde , Tom Hughes , Karl King , Karl King #2 ,

Jay Hodde

Mitch Harper posted some news regarding this study. I don't have access to the journal, but I thought you might find the full abstract quite interesting.

Things to note from the abstract:

Background that you need to know first: The oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) has been suggested as a key event in atherogenesis.

  1. In exercisers working out for <1 yr (Study 1), the oxidizability of LDL was enhanced in exercisers compared with sedentary controls.

  2. Truly "chronic" exercise (aerobic intensity over several months, in this study >2 yr) decreases the susceptibility of a male exerciser's LDL to undergo oxidation. (Doesn't affect women).


Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 1998 Jul;18(7):1181-1187

Exercise and cardiovascular disease: a new perspective.

Shern-Brewer R, Santanam N, Wetzstein C, White-Welkley J, Parthasarathy S

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

The oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) has been suggested as a key event in atherogenesis. Paradoxically, exercise, which imposes an oxidative stress, is an important deterrent of cardiovascular disease. In study 1 the oxidizability of LDL was enhanced in exercisers compared with sedentary controls. The lag time of isolated LDL subjected to copper-induced in vitro oxidation was significantly shortened in the exercisers compared with sedentary subjects. This increased sensitivity was not due to a decreased presence of vitamin E. Instead, these findings suggested that the LDL of exercisers may contain increased amounts of preformed lipid peroxides, which account for the increased oxidizability. In study 2, a group x sex ANOVA revealed that male exercisers had a significantly longer mean lag time than male sedentary subjects and that females had similar mean lag times regardless of exercise group. This remained the case when statistical adjustment was made for age, body mass index, blood lipid levels, LDL, and plasma alpha-tocopherol levels. Study 1 exercisers had been in training for a shorter time (< 1 year) than study 2 exercisers (> 2 years). These findings suggest that truly "chronic" exercise (aerobic intensity over several months) decreases the susceptibility of a male exerciser's LDL to undergo oxidation. Conversely, regular aerobic stress during an overall shorter time span creates a more oxidative environment in the body, thus increasing the susceptibility of LDL to undergo oxidation. The oxidative stress of aerobic exercise does not appear to adversely affect the oxidizability of LDL in women.

Tom Hughes

Yes ultra running produces free radicals. So does most exercise as does any other type of stress. This is a natural process, however it does contribute to the aging process. There is a large body of research that also links free radicals to cancer.

As your body takes in and burns oxygen electrons can be released. These electrons are free radicals. (These are not to be confused with the free radicals of the 60s and early 70s) These free radicals have a negative charge and naturally want a natural charge. They steal from healthy tissues in the body making those tissues unstable. This is how the damage is done to the body. Anti-oxidents provide the charge free radicals are looking for without damage to healthy tissue.

My personal opinion is that a good multiple vitamin with anti-oxidents is very helpful. Many will argue that you can get enough anti-oxidents by eating a healthy diet. While possible I find it much easier to take a supplement.

My personal choice for supplements are Life Pack and Overdrive from IDN. For more info on these see the IDN web page IDN is a network marketing company. The products are great and the people I have worked with have all been low key and helpful. No pressure to join or sell. If you are interested I can get you products at good prices. I've compared IDN product prices to similar products from stores like GNC. IDN prices have always been lower.

I have a considerable amount of research data on free radicals. However it is all in hard copy. I can fax it to anyone who would like it. I would suggest that a search for "free radical" on the Internet would turn up the same research in a more manageable format.

Karl King

A few days ago, Dr. Bill Misner posted the URL for an article he wrote on free radicals.

If you're planning on having a long career in running, you might benefit from reading the article and considering if your training is placing a large free radical load on your body.

The study results suggest that the Hard-Easy approach to training runs makes some sense in preventing a constant level of free radical concentration and damage.

Karl King #2

The May '97 issue of Running Research News has a feature article on the subject. It is well worth reading if you are interested in the subject.

The bottom line: while antioxidants are not likely to improve performance during an event, they are clearly beneficial to the recovery process, and for good health in general.

Until further research is in, the most prudent course to get antioxidants is to combine a diet rich in them, and take moderate amounts of supplements.

The benefits from better recovery after running are likely to show up in increased fitness as you go through a training program.

If you want a copy of the RRN issue, call 517 - 371 - 4897