Oxidative Effects of Physical Exercise

  • Alexandre T. Quintanilha


Increased physical activity in animals is accompanied by significantly higher rates of oxygen consumption (see Brooks & Fahey, 1984); in man these increases can be of the order of ten-fold. While the biological toxicity of oxygen was already known to Lavoisier and Priestley and has been clearly demonstrated for animals at higher pressures (> 1 atmosphere) and at higher concentrations (> 20%), less attention has been paid to the effect of higher rates of consumption. For flying insects (Sohal, 1981) several interesting studies have clearly established a positive correlation between higher rates of oxygen consumption (due to increased physical activity) and a shorter life span (accompanied by a faster rate of accumulation of oxidative products of lipids and proteins). In mammals such a correlation has not been established, perhaps for the simple reason that the increase in the rate of oxygen consumption of mammals at the onset of exercise is significantly smaller than in flying insects.


Electron Spin Resonance Physical Exercise Total Glutathione Glutathione Disulfide Sedentary Animal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre T. Quintanilha
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Physiology-Anatomy DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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