Electron spin resonance spectroscopic detection of oxygen-centred radicals in human serum following exhaustive exercise

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Free radicals or oxidants are continuously produced in the body as a consequence of normal energy metabolism. The concentration of free radicals, together with lipid peroxidation, increases in some tissues as a physiological response to exercise – they have also been implicated in a variety of pathologies. The biochemical measurement of free radicals has relied in the main on the indirect assay of oxidative stress by-products. This study presents the first use of electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy in conjunction with the spin-trapping technique, to measure directly the production of radical species in the venous blood of healthy human volunteers pre- and post-exhaustive aerobic exercise. Evidence is also presented of increased lipid peroxidation and total antioxidant capacity post-exercise.

Accepted: 30 October 1997