Oxidative stress, exercise and EPA


During exercise, increased “reactive oxygen species” production occurs, and this can lead to a decline of individual’s performance and health (due to cell damage). “Reactive oxygen species” are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen and have important roles in normal functioning: they are needed for the production of some hormones and normal cell functions, and are generated to kill some bacteria. But if their levels increase (during exercise, exposure to ultra violet radiation, herbicides or pesticides, or smoking, for example), they can damage other molecules and the cell structures of which they are a part. This is known as oxidative stress, which has been involved in the occurrence in processes such as inflammation, aging, carcinogenesis, atherosclerosis, and degenerative neurologic diseases, among others.

With respect to sports practice, the use of EPA may present benefits to the anti-oxidant system in skeletal muscle cells (muscle tissue which is under the voluntary control of the nervous system). The supplementation with EPA can be beneficial to the anti-oxidant system in cultured skeletal muscle cells.




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