Role of exercise and ascorbate on plasma antioxidant capacity in thoroughbred race horses

Allan White, Manuel Estrada, Katherine Walker, Pamela Wisnia, Gonzalo Filgueira, Fernando Valdés, Oscar Araneda, Claus Behn, Ramón Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


During exercise, the oxygen consumption and the production of free radicals increase and can lead to oxidative stress with a deleterious effect on cellular structures involved in physical activity. To evaluate the oxidative stress produced by exercise and the role of ascorbate as an antioxidant, venous blood samples were obtained from 44 thoroughbred racehorses, before and after a 1000±200-m race at maximum velocity. Fourteen of these horses were treated intravenously with 5 g of ascorbate before running. Antioxidant capacity (PAOC), endogenous and exogenous ascorbate concentration, total antioxidant reactivity (TAR), urate concentration, creatine kinase activity, protein concentration and thiobarbiturate reactive substances (TBAR) as oxidative stress indicators were measured in the plasma of some of these horses. PAOC, TAR and TBAR increased after the race, while plasma ascorbate and urate concentrations remained unchanged. Total plasma protein (TPP) concentrations increased in line with antioxidant capacity. As predicted, both the plasma ascorbate concentration and PAOC increased immediately after ascorbate administration, but was not modified after the race, such as TBAR. However, in both groups plasma creatine kinase activity increased after the race. These results would suggest that the administration of ascorbate could nullify the oxidative stress produced by exercise in thoroughbred racehorses, but could not prevent muscular damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by FONDECYT: Grant N° 1940486


  • Antioxidant capacity
  • Ascorbate
  • Exercise
  • Free radicals
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Thoroughbred horse
  • Urate


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