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Tsitsimpikou C.,General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece | Tsarouhas K.,General Hospital of Karditsa | Stamatopoulos P.,ORTHOBIOTIKI Prevention and Anti aging | Rentoukas E.,Amalia Fleming General Hospital of Athens | And 5 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are important biological markers of various myocardial disorders and exercise-induced muscle damage. Lycopene, on the other side, is a natural anti-oxidant with protective action against cardiovascular risk. Fifteen anaerobically trained athletes with elevated LDH and CPK baseline levels were enrolled in this study after undergoing thorough biochemical and cardiovascular evaluation with echocardiocraphy. In nine athletes tomato juice, a lycopene plain juice, was administered during and after exercise, replacing the carbohydrate supplementation beverages commonly used during training for over a 2-month period. Tomato juice administration significantly reduced LDH and CPK levels, which returned back to almost normal levels. At the same time homocysteine and C-reactive protein were also attenuated. No changes were observed in the control group, where the usual carbohydrate supplementation had been followed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Tsitsimpikou C.,General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece | Chrisostomou N.,Technological Educational Institute of Athens | Papalexis P.,Technological Educational Institute of Athens | Tsarouhas K.,Amalia Fleming General Hospital of Athens | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism | Year: 2011

Although the use of nutritional supplements by professional athletes and the benefits thereof have been extensively studied, information on recreational athletes' use of supplements is limited. This study investigated the consumption of nutritional supplements, source of information and supply of supplements, and level of awareness with regard to the relevant legislation among individuals who undertake regular exercise in Athens, Greece. A closed-ended, anonymous questionnaire was answered by 329 subjects (180 men, 149 women), age 30.6 ± 12.1 yr, from 11 randomly selected gym centers. Preparations declared as anabolic agents by the users were submitted to a gas chromatographic analyzer coupled to a mass spectrometric detector. Consumption of nutritional supplements was reported by 41% of the study population, with proteins/amino acids and vitamins being the most popular. Age (r = .456, p = .035), sex (χ 2 = 14.1, df = 1, p < .001), level of education (χ 2 = 14.1, df = 3, p < .001), and profession (χ 2 = 11.4, df = 4, p = .022) were associated with the subjects' decision to consume nutritional supplements. Most (67.1%) purchased products from health food stores. Only 17.1% had consulted a physician or nutritionist, and one third were aware of the relevant legislation. Two preparations were detected containing synthetic anabolic steroids not stated on the label. In conclusion, use of nutritional supplements was common among recreational athletes in Athens, Greece. A low level of awareness and low involvement of health care professionals as sources of information and supply were observed. © 2011 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Tsitsimpikou C.,General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece | Tsitsimpikou C.,University of Crete | Kouretas D.,University of Thessaly | Tsarouhas K.,University of Crete | And 3 more authors.
Therapeutic Drug Monitoring | Year: 2011

The biochemical actions and side effects of recombinant erythropoietins (rhEPOs), their analogs and mimetics, their misuse as doping agents, and the principal analytical strategies developed to identify them in athletes' biologic fluids are reviewed. Patients who experience a range of pathologies have benefited from the administration of rhEPOs to correct severe anemia. Currently, monitoring the biologic effect of rhEPO in patients under treatment is by measuring the hemoglobin concentration. However, it may be valuable to directly monitor the actual levels of the administered drug and determine a dose-dependent correlation with any clinical adverse effect observed. This may permit the adoption of a patient-specific administration regime. Currently, the method of detecting EPO approved for doping control is an isoelectric-focusing, double-blotting, chemiluminescence assay based on charge differences between isoforms of rhEPOs and endogenous EPO in urine. The advantages and limitations of this method are presented. A new approach using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis as a complementary tool to the established method is discussed. The application of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry for the direct detection of the rhEPO molecules may prove to be promising. Indirect evidence of rhEPO abuse by athletes is based on the analysis of blood parameters (hemoglobin hematocrit, reticulocytes, macrocytes, etc) and serum markers (concentration of EPO and serum transferrin receptors, etc). Enrichment of the screened parameters with gene or biochemical markers revealing altered erythropoiesis and adoption of longitudinal monitoring of athletes' hematologic and biochemical parameters could also be a complementary approach in the fight against doping. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Fenga C.,Messina University | Gangemi S.,Messina University | Giambo F.,Messina University | Tsitsimpikou C.,General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece | And 3 more authors.
Life Sciences | Year: 2016

Aims Benzene metabolism seems to modulate NF-κB, p38-MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signalling pathways via the production of reactive oxygen species. This study aims to evaluate the effects of low-dose, long-term exposure on NF-κB, STAT3, p38-MAPK and stress-activated protein kinase/Jun amino-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK) signal transduction pathways in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in gasoline station attendants. The influence of consumption of vegetables and fruits on these pathways has also been evaluated. Main methods A total of 91 men, employed in gasoline stations located in eastern Sicily, were enrolled for this study and compared with a control group of 63 male office workers with no history of exposure to benzene. The exposure was assessed by measuring urinary trans,trans-muconic acid (t,t-MA) concentration. Quantitative analyses were performed for proteins NF-κB p65, phospho-NF-κB p65, phospho-IκB-α, phospho-SAPK/JNK, phospho-p38 MAPK and phospho-STAT3 using an immunoenzymatic assay. Key findings The results of this study indicate significantly higher t,t-MA levels in gasoline station attendants. With regard to NF-κB, phospho-IκB-α and phospho-STAT3 proteins, statistically significant differences were observed in workers exposed to benzene. However, no differences were observed in SAPK/JNK and p38-MAPK activation. These changes were positively correlated with t,t-MA levels, but only phospho-NF-κB p65 was associated with the intake of food rich in antioxidant active principles. Significance Chronic exposure to low-dose benzene can modulate signal transduction pathways activated by oxidative stress and involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. This could represent a possible mechanism of carcinogenic action of chronic benzene exposure. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Samaras A.,General Hospital of Giannitsa | Tsarouhas K.,General Hospital of Karditsa | Paschalidis E.,General Hospital of Giannitsa | Giamouzis G.,University of Thessaly | And 5 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2014

It is well established that exercise induces excessive production of reactive species leading to oxidative stress, which has been implicated in oxidative damage of macromolecules, immune dysfunction, muscle damage and fatigue. The present study examined the effect of supplementation of ultra-marathon runners for a two-months-period with a special whey protein bar containing carbohydrates and protein in a specific ratio (1:1) (N= 16), prepared using as starting material the by-products of cheese manufacturing, and supplementation with commercially available tomato juice (N= 15). Thiobarbituric-acid reactive substances and protein carbonyls were significantly decreased in both supplementation groups, while a pronounced increased in reduced glutathione was observed in the protein bar group. Total anti-oxidant activity remained unchanged in both groups. Flow-mediated dilatation, used as an estimate of endothelial function, was increased in both groups, with a significant rise observed only in the tomato juice administration group. In conclusion, supplementation of ultra marathon runners for a two-months-period with a special protein bar and tomato juice significantly improved the oxidative status of the subjects, while tomato juice also improved vascular endothelial function in these athletes. © 2014 .

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