Impact of training and exercise intensity on blood antioxidant markers in healthy Standardbred horses

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This study investigated the effect of training and exercise intensity on blood antioxidant markers in six healthy Standardbred horses. Markers studied were uric acid (UA), ascorbic acid (AA), α-tocopherol, vitamin A (Vit A), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione – reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG), glutathione redox ratio (GRR), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se). The horses performed a standardized exercise test (SET) when they were untrained (T0), after 4 weeks of light training (T4) and after 8 weeks of interval training (T12). Forty-eight hours after SET T4 and SET T12, a SET with run up to fatigue (TTF4 and TTF12) was performed. Maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max) was determined within 3–5 days after TTF4 and TTF12. At each test (SET T(i) and TTF(i)), venous blood was sampled at rest (R), peak-exercise (Emax), 15 (E15) and 60 (E60) min after the test. UA, AA and GRR were increased significantly by the exercise, whereas GSH and Vit A were decreased significantly (P < 0.05). Training-related increases (T0 vs. T4 vs. T12) were observed for UA, SOD, GPx and Se, whereas GSH, α-tocopherol and Zn decreased (P < 0.05). Exercise intensity (TTF(i) vs. T(i)) increased UA and AA significantly and decreased GSH significantly (P < 0.05). A significant correlation between ΔSOD and ΔV˙O2max (r = 0.86, p < 0.05) determined at SET T4 and SET T12 was found. Taken together, these results indicate that training and exercise intensity significantly influence blood antioxidant markers in healthy Standardbred horses.

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