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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of grape seed extract (GSE) supplementation on exercise performance and oxidative stress in acutely and chronically exercised rats. A total of sixty-four male rats were used in the study. Rats were divided into six groups: control, chronic exercise control, acute exercise control (AEC), GSE-supplemented control, GSE-supplemented chronic exercise and GSE-supplemented acute exercise groups. Chronic exercise consisted of treadmill running at 25 m/min, 45 min/d, 5 d a week for 6 weeks. Rats in the acute exercise groups were run on the treadmill at 30 m/min until exhaustion. GSE were given at 100 mg/kg of body weight with drinking water for 6 weeks. Plasma was separated from blood samples for the analysis of oxidative stress markers. There was no significant difference in time of exhaustion between the acute exercise groups. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were higher in the acute exercise groups and lower in the chronic exercise groups. GSE supplementation decreased MDA levels. Xanthine oxidase and adenosine deaminase activities were higher in the AEC group compared to all the other groups. NO levels were increased with both chronic exercise and GSE supplementation. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities were lower in the acute exercised groups and higher in the chronic exercised groups. GSE supplementation caused an increase in antioxidant enzyme activities. In conclusion, GSE supplementation prevents exercise-induced oxidative stress by preventing lipid peroxidation and increasing antioxidant enzyme activities.
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