Avenanthramides suppress inflammation, muscle damage in downhill running test

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Anut21ng
©Getty Images - Anut21ng

Related tags Oats Antioxidant Antioxidant activity Anti-inflammatory

Avenanthramides, a class of antioxidant molecules found only in oats, were shown to reduce markers of inflammation in a downhill running trial conducted with young people of both sexes.

The study was published recently in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​.  It was conducted by researchers from universities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as representatives of Canadian supplier Ceapro as well as PepsiCo R&D, which sponsored the study.

Past research points to antioxidant benefits

Avenanthramides (AVA) are a group of di-phenolic acids found only in oats.  Past research has shown AVA to have antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects in vivo and in vitro.

To test how this plays out in a real world setting, researchers recruited 11 young men and 13 young women to participate in a double blind, placebo controlled trial. The subjects were all around 23 years of age and all were relatively slender, with an average BMI of 22.  All were from the Twin Cities area.

The participants consumed oat cookies every day for eight weeks. The experimental group consumed a cookies with an AVA dosage of 20.6 mg/day, with the other group eating cookies with no detectable AVA.  AVA is heat sensitive, so the cookies were baked at 212 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Downhill running protocol supplies muscle damage stimulus

The subjects did a downhill running (DR) test at the start of the study, which was followed by an 8-week washout period, then the 8 weeks of supplementation, followed by another DR test.  The test was structured as four bouts of 15 minutes of running at a down a treadmill set at a negative 10% slope, with the speed adjusted  to keep the participants at 75% of their maximum heart rate.  The subjects rested for 5 minutes in between the running bouts. Blood was drawn at the end of the test and again at 4 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours.

The researchers found that the AVA supplementation had significant positive effects in terms of the inflammatory markers measured in teh participants’ blood as well as their perceptions of discomfort following the intentionally damaging exercise.

“Our present study indicated that chronic oat consumption not only ameliorated plasma inflammatory response to exercise stress, but also mitigated muscle damage as revealed by a lower plasma CK level. Furthermore, pain sensation by the subjects, most likely related to DR-induced muscle damage, was reduced during post-supplementation trials,” ​the researchers said.

“Oat AVA supplementation reduced circulatory inflammatory cytokines and inhibited expression of chemokines and cell adhesion molecules induced by DR,” ​they concluded.

Source:Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
17​, Article number: 41 (2020)
Avenanthramide supplementation reduces eccentric exercise-induced inflammation in young men and women
Authors: Zhang T, et al.

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