Effect of tomato juice consumption on the inflammatory biomarkers of male athletes following exhaustive exercise
Objective: Strenuous exercise increases inflammatory biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Dietary antioxidants can alter this inflammatory/oxidative state. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of tomato juice consumption as a rich source of lycopene (a potent antioxidant) on inflammatory biomarkers in male athletes following exhaustive exercise.
Methods: Thirty male university students were enrolled and randomly divided into two groups. The intervention group consumed 200 mL of tomato juice (containing 50 mg of lycopene) daily for one week and then performed a treadmill running exercise at 18 km/h till exhaustion. The control group consumed the same amount of water and performed the same exercise. Blood samples were collected before and immediately after exercise for analysis of IL-6, CRP, and the oxidant to antioxidant ratio. IL-6 and CRP were measured using ELISA. Oxidant to antioxidant ratio was measured with a colorimetric assay. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 13.
Results: The mean decrease in CRP level in the tomato juice group was significantly greater compared with the control group (-0.4 vs 0.001 mg/L, p = 0.002). The level of IL-6 and the oxidant to antioxidant ratio did not change after exercise in either the tomato juice or the control group.
Conclusion: Our data showed for the first time that consumption of tomato juice, which is a major source of the antioxidant lycopene, can lead to a decrease in systemic inflammation post exercise. This may present a useful approach to protecting against inflammation-induced muscle damage and to improving exercise performance in athletes.
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