Take vitamin E for post-exercise pain

Vitamin E may be able to counter body damage from exercise, the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter has reported. Dr Jennifer Sacheck, an exercise physiologist, studied groups of physically active men and found that older people particularly, including very fit seniors, often suffer after exercise from an increase in free radical activity that damages body tissue. Free radicals in older people “can get out of control after heavy exercise,” the Nutrition Letter said. Part of the solution “may be the antioxidant vitamin E which can squelch free radical activity.”

Dr Sacheck recruited a group of physically active men aged 66 to 78 and a younger group aged 23 to 35. The men received vitamin E daily for three months, or a placebo. Before and after supplementation, the men performed exercise tests and had their muscle soreness evaluated. Blood tests were used to measure for markers of muscle damage, inflammation and stress from free radicals. Dr Sacheck found that the older men experienced less inflammation after supplementing with vitamin E, and the younger ones also had less soreness and muscle damage.

Source: Foods for the Future, July 13, 2002