Ascorbic Acid Supplementation and Immune Response in Healthy Women during High-intensity Exercise

The Open Sports Sciences Journal 21 May 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/011875399X302175240427094350



the benefits of consuming extra Ascorbic Acid (AA) while exercising are not well understood.


This study aims to explore the effects of AA supplementation on oxidative stress, the immunological response, and inflammation in healthy women after a single bout of high-intensity exercise.

Materials and Methods

In a crossover design, 20 sedentary women (aged 18-22) underwent 30 minutes of vigorous cycling. They were divided into two groups: one receiving daily 1,000 mg ascorbic acid supplementation (1,000AA) and the other without supplementation (0AA). This regimen was maintained for one week. Blood samples obtained pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise, and 24 hours post-exercise underwent analysis for oxidative stress, inflammatory markers, CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, and neutrophil phagocytic activity.


An AA supplement significantly increased plasma concentrations of AA (p<0.05) and reduced post-exercise plasma MDA levels (p<0.05) but did not affect creatine kinase activity. White blood cells, CD8+ T cells, and IL-6 increased significantly after exercise but remained unchanged in the 1,000AA group compared to the 0AA group, while the neutrophil count increased (p<0.05) after exercise with no change in phagocytic function. A slight drop in phagocytic function was observed 24 hours after exercise in the 1,000AA group. Exercise and AA supplements had no effect on CD4+ T cells.


a single session of high-intensity exercise caused oxidative stress, muscle injury, and inflammation, as well as a transient increase in CD8+ T cells. A short administration of AA attenuated the exercise-induced oxidative stress and reduced inflammation by limiting the increase in IL-6 and CD8+ T cells.

Keywords: Exercise, Ascorbic acid, Oxidative stress, Neutrophil phagocytic function, Inflammation, CD4+ T cell, CD8+ T cell.
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