Share this article on:

Postprandial Oxidative Stress: Influence of Sex and Exercise Training Status


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2009 - Volume 41 - Issue 12 - p 2111-2119
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a9e832
Clinical Sciences

An individual's sex and exercise training status may influence oxidative stress. No study has compared postprandial oxidative stress in exercise-trained and untrained men and women.

Purpose: To compare oxidative stress biomarkers and triglycerides (TAG) in 16 trained and 16 untrained men and women after ingestion of a high-fat meal.

Methods: Blood samples were collected before, and at 1, 2, 4, and 6 h after intake of a high-fat meal and analyzed for Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide, xanthine oxidase activity, protein carbonyls (PC), and TAG. Area under the curve was calculated for each variable.

Results: Sex main effects were noted for all variables (P < 0.01), except for PC and TEAC (P > 0.05), with higher values for men compared with women. A training status main effect was noted for TEAC (P = 0.02), with higher values for trained compared with untrained subjects. No interaction effects were noted (P > 0.05). Regression analysis indicated that TAG explained the greatest degree of variability for oxidative stress variables, and premeal TAG best predicted the TAG response to feeding (R 2 = 0.50).

Conclusions: With the exception of TEAC, for which higher values were noted for trained compared with untrained subjects, our findings indicate that sex, not exercise training status, influences postprandial oxidative stress. Specifically, women experience a significantly lower oxidative stress response to feeding compared with men. This seems mediated in part by the TAG response to feeding.

1Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN; and 2Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Address for correspondence: Richard J. Bloomer, Ph.D., Cardiorespiratory/Metabolic Laboratory, 161 Roane Field House, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152; E-mail:

Submitted for publication January 2009.

Accepted for publication April 2009.

©2009The American College of Sports Medicine