Friday, November 26, 2010

Further Evidence Against Anti-Oxidant Supplementation: Vitamin E + Alpha Lipoic Acid Reduce Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Mass media and supplement companies will make you believe: "It is all about anti-oxidants" - Well, making money these days may in fact be all about anti-oxidants, but at least for athletes supplementing exogenous anti-oxidants may not be so wise as their producers would have us believe.

Yet another recent study on the "beneficial" effects of anti-oxidants on reactive oxygen specimen (ROS) found that, at least for athletes blocking natural increases in ROS may also inhibit the intended adaptive responses:
Consistent with augmentation of skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and antioxidant defenses, following training there were significant increases in PGC-1α mRNA and protein, COX IV and cytochrome C protein abundance, citrate synthase activity, Nfe2l2 and SOD2 protein (P<0.05). Antioxidant supplementation reduced PGC-1α mRNA, PGC-1α and COX IV protein, and citrate synthase enzyme activity (P<0.05) in both sedentary and exercise-trained rats.
In view of the fact that there are virtually no studies that confirm a beneficial or ergogenic effect of anti-oxidants, specifically vitamin E in athletes or trained human beings, you may be better off keeping your supplemental vitamin E intake within reasonable limits (i.e. ~12mg = 100%RDA).