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Simoes K.,Federal University of Goais | Magosso R.F.,Centro Universitario Of Rio Preto Da University Unirp | Lagoeiro C.G.,Centro Universitario Of Rio Preto Da University Unirp | Castellan V.T.,Centro Universitario Of Rio Preto Da University Unirp | And 6 more authors.
Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Introduction: Free radicals produced during exercise may exceed the antioxidant defense system, causing oxidative damage to specific biomolecules. The lesions caused by free radicals in cells can be prevented or reduced by natural antioxidants, which are found in many foods. Lycopene is one of the most potent carotenoids with antioxidant properties, and it is used to prevent carcinogenesis and atherogenesis, as it protects molecules such as lipids, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), proteins and DNA. Objective: To investigate the role of lycopene as a potential protector of cardiac and skeletal muscle fibers against oxidative stress during strenuous exercise, which would cause morphological changes in these tissues. Methods: The experiments consisted of 32 adult male rats divided into four groups: Two control groups and two trained groups with and without lycopene supplementation (6 mg per animal). The animals of the trained groups were subjected to 42 swimming sessions over a nine-week period, involving daily swimming sessions, five days a week, with overload produced by increasing the training time. The morphological analysis was performed using histological slides of cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. Results: Modifications were observed in cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue in the trained group that did not receive lycopene supplementation, while the trained group supplemented with lycopene showed muscle tissue with a normal morphological appearance. The tissues of both supplemented and non supplemented sedentary control groups showed no change in their histological characteristics. Conclusion: It can be stated that lycopene exerted a protective effect on cardiac and skeletal muscles against oxidative stress induced by strenuous exercise, besides promoting cardiac neovascularization, and can be used efficiently by athletes and physically active individuals. Source

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