High-Intensity Exercise Induced Oxidative Stress and Skeletal Muscle Damage in Postpubertal Boys and Girls: A Comparative Study

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Pal, S, Chaki, B, Chattopadhyay, S, and Bandyopadhyay, A. High-intensity exercise induced oxidative stress and skeletal muscle damage in post-pubertal boys and girls: a comparative study. J Strength Cond Res 32(4): 1045–1052, 2018—The purpose of this study was to examine the sex variation in high-intensity exercise induced oxidative stress and muscle damage among 44 sedentary postpubertal boys and girls through estimation of postexercise release pattern of muscle damage markers like creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and oxidative stress markers like extent of lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances) and catalase activity. Muscle damage markers like creatine kinase, LDH, ALT, and AST were measured before, immediately after, and 24 and 48 hours after high-intensity incremental treadmill running. Oxidative stress markers like thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and catalase activity were estimated before and immediately after the exercise. Lipid peroxidation and serum catalase activity increased significantly in both groups after exercise (p < 0.001) with postexercise values and percentage increase significantly higher in postpubertal boys as compared to girls (p < 0.001). Creatine kinase and LDH activity also increased significantly above pre-exercise level at 24 and 48 hours after exercise in both the sexes, (p < 0.001) with values significantly higher for boys than the girls (p < 0.001). Although ALT and AST increased significantly in both the groups after exercise, the pattern of postexercise release of these markers were found to be similar in both the groups. Accordingly, it has been concluded from the present investigation that high-intensity exercise induces significant oxidative stress and increases indices of skeletal muscle damage in both postpubertal girls and boys. However, postpubertal girls are relatively better protected from oxidative stress and muscle damage as compared to the boys of similar age and physical activity level. It is further evident that sex difference may not be apparent for all the biomarkers of muscle damage in this age group.

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