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PLOS ONE  2014 

Disturbances in Pro-Oxidant-Antioxidant Balance after Passive Body Overheating and after Exercise in Elevated Ambient Temperatures in Athletes and Untrained Men

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085320

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The aim of the study was to investigate pro-oxidant-antioxidant balance in two series of examinations with two types of stressors (exogenous heat and the combined exogenous and endogenous heat) in trained and untrained men. The exogenous stressor was provided by Finnish sauna session, whereas the combined stressor was represented by the exercise in elevated ambient temperature. The men from the two groups performed the physical exercise on a cycle ergometer with the load of 53±2% maximal oxygen uptake at the temperature of 33±1°C and relative humidity of 70% until their rectal temperature rose by 1.2°C. After a month from completion of the exercise test the subjects participated in a sauna bathing session with the temperature of 96±2°C, and relative humidity of 16±5%. 15-minutes heating and 2-minute cool-down in a shower with the temperature of 20°C was repeated until rectal temperature rose by 1.2°C compared to the initial value. During both series of tests rectal temperature was measured at 5-minute intervals. Before both series of tests and after them body mass was measured and blood samples were taken for biochemical tests. Serum total protein, serum concentration of lipid peroxidation products and serum antioxidants were determined. The athletes were characterized by higher level of antioxidant status and lower concentration of lipid peroxidation products. Physical exercise at elevated ambient temperature caused lower changes in oxidative stress indices compared to sauna bathing. Sauna induced a shift in pro-oxidant-antioxidant balance towards oxidation, which was observed less intensively in the athletes compared to the untrained men. This leads to the conclusion that physical exercise increases tolerance to elevated ambient temperature and oxidative stress.


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