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Effects of NAC Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Performance Following Aseptic Injury Induced by Exercise

18 Years
30 Years
Not Enrolling
Skeletal Muscle Damage, Skeletal Muscle Performance, Intgracellular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle, Inflammatory Status

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Trial Information

Effects of NAC Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Performance Following Aseptic Injury Induced by Exercise

The major thiol-disulfide couple of reduced (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) is a
key-regulator of major transcriptional pathways regulating aseptic inflammation and recovery
of skeletal muscle following aseptic injury. Antioxidant supplementation may hamper
exercise-induced cellular adaptations.

Our objective was to examine how thiol-based antioxidant supplementation affects skeletal
muscle's performance and redox-sensitive signalling during the inflammatory and repair
phases associated with exercise-induced micro-trauma.In a double-blind, counterbalanced
design, 12 men received placebo (PLA) or N-acetylcysteine (NAC, 20 mg/kg/day) following
muscle-damaging exercise (300 eccentric contractions). In each trial, muscle performance was
measured at baseline, post-exercise, 2h post-exercise and daily for 8 consecutive days.
Muscle biopsies from vastus lateralis and blood samples were collected pre-exercise and 2h,
2d, and 8d post-exercise.

Inclusion Criteria:

a) recreationally trained as evidenced by their maximal oxygen consumption levels (VO2max
>45 ml/kg/min), b) were engaged in systematic exercise at least three times/week for ≥12
months), c) non-smokers, d) abstained from any vigorous physical activity during the
study, e)abstained from consumption of caffeine, alcohol, performance-enhancing or
antioxidant supplements, and medications during the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

a) a known NAC intolerance or allergy, b) a recent febrile illness, c) history of muscle
lesion, d) lower limb trauma

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Outcome Measure:

Change in reduced glutathione in blood

Outcome Description:

Concentration of reduced glutathione in red blood cells

Outcome Time Frame:

one hour before exercise, 5 minutes post-exercise, 2 hours post-exercise, daily for 8 days post-exercise

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Ioannis F Fatouros, Ph.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Democritus University of Thrace, Greece


Greece: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

January 2010

Completion Date:

April 2012

Related Keywords:

  • Skeletal Muscle Damage
  • Skeletal Muscle Performance
  • Intgracellular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle
  • Inflammatory Status
  • aseptic inflammation
  • skeletal muscle function
  • exercise