Influence Of Vitamin C Supplementation On Oxidative And Immune Changes After An Ultramarathon

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr.. David Nieman, Director (Creator)
Steven McAnulty PhD, Professor (Contributor)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: The purpose of this randomized study was to measure the influence of vitamin C (n = 15 runners) compared with placebo (n = 13 runners) supplementation on oxidative and immune changes in runners competing in an ultramarathon race. During the 7-day period before the race and on race day, subjects ingested in randomized, double-blind fashion 1,500 mg/day vitamin C or placebo. On race day, blood samples were collected 1 h before race, after 32 km of running, and then again immediately after race. Subjects in both groups maintained an intensity of 75% maximal heart rate throughout the ultramarathon race and ran a mean of 69 km (range: 48– 80 km) in 9.8 h (range: 5–12 h). Plasma ascorbic acid was markedly higher in the vitamin C compared with placebo group prerace and rose more strongly in the vitamin C group during the race (postrace: 3.21 ± 0.29 and 1.28 ± 0.12 µg/100 µl, respectively, P < 0.001). No significant group or interaction effects were measured for lipid hydroperoxide, F2-isoprostane, immune cell counts, plasma interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-1-receptor antagonist, or IL-8 concentrations, or mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation and IL-2 and IFN-y production. These data indicate that vitamin C supplementation in carbohydrate-fed runners does not serve as a countermeasure to oxidative and immune changes during or after a competitive ultramarathon race.

Additional Information

David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, Steven R. McAnulty, Lisa McAnulty, Nathaniel S. Swick, Alan C. Utter, Debra M. Vinci, Shannon J. Opiela, and Jason D. Morrow. (2002). Influence of vitamin C supplementation on oxidative and immune changes after an ultramarathon. Journal of Applied Physiology 2002 92:5, 1970-1977. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2002
interleukins, ascorbic acid, lymphocytes, isoprostanes, lipid hydroperoxide

Email this document to