Fish Oil Supplementation Reduces Markers of Oxidative Stress But Not Muscle Soreness After Eccentric Exercise

Patrick Gray, Andrew John Chappell, Alison McEwan Jenkinson, Frank Thies, Stuart Robert Gray* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
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Due to the potential anti-inflammatory properties of fish-derived long chain n-3 fatty acids, it has been suggested that athletes should regularly consume fish oils, although evidence in support of this recommendation is not clear. While fish oils can positively modulate immune function, it remains possible that, due to their high number of double bonds, there may be concurrent increases in lipid peroxidation. The current study aims to investigate the effect of fish oil supplementation on exercise-induced markers of oxidative stress and muscle damage. Twenty males underwent a six week double blind randomised placebo-controlled supplementation trial involving two groups (fish oil or placebo). After supplementation, participants undertook 200 repetitions of eccentric knee contractions. Blood samples were taken pre-supplementation, post-supplementation, immediately, 24, 48 and 72h post-exercise and muscle soreness/maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) assessed. There were no differences in creatine kinase, protein carbonyls, endogenous DNA damage, muscle soreness or MVC between groups. Plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were lower (P<0.05) at 48 and 72h post exercise and H2O2 stimulated DNA damage was lower (P<0.05) immediately post-exercise in the fish oil, compared with the control group. The current study demonstrates that fish oil supplementation reduces selected markers of oxidative stress after a single bout of eccentric exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism
Issue number2
Early online date20 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • exercise
  • fatty acids
  • free radicals
  • muscle
  • force


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