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Redox and autonomic responses to acute exercise-post recovery following Opuntia ficus-indica juice intake in physically active women

  • Bellafiore, Marianna1
  • Pintaudi, Anna Maria2
  • Thomas, Ewan1
  • Tesoriere, Luisa2
  • Bianco, Antonino1
  • Cataldo, Angelo1
  • Cerasola, Dario1
  • Traina, Marcello1
  • Livrea, Maria Antonia2
  • Palma, Antonio1
  • 1 University of Palermo, Via Francesco Spallitta, 52, Palermo, 90141, Italy , Palermo (Italy)
  • 2 Palermo University, Palermo, 90123, Italy , Palermo (Italy)
Published Article
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jun 07, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12970-021-00444-2
Springer Nature


BackgroundThe aim of this study was to investigate if the supplementation with Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) juice may affect plasma redox balance and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters following a maximal effort test, in young physically active women.MethodsA randomized, double blind, placebo controlled and crossover study comprising eight women (23.25 ± 2.95 years, 54.13 ± 9.05 kg, 157.75 ± 0.66 cm and BMI of 21.69 ± 0.66 kg/m2) was carried out. A juice containing OFI diluted in water and a Placebo solution were supplied (170 ml; OFI = 50 ml of OFI juice + 120 ml of water; Placebo = 170 ml beverage without Vitamin C and indicaxanthin). Participants consumed the OFI juice or Placebo beverage every day for 3 days, before performing a maximal cycle ergometer test, and for 2 consecutive days after the test. Plasma hydroperoxides and total antioxidant capacity (PAT), Skin Carotenoid Score (SCS) and HRV variables (LF, HF, LF/HF and rMSSD) were recorded at different time points.ResultsThe OFI group showed significantly lower levels of hydroperoxides compared to the Placebo group in pre-test, post-test and 48-h post-test. PAT values of the OFI group significantly increased compared to those of the Placebo group in pre-test and 48-h post-test. SCS did not differ between groups. LF was significantly lower in the OFI group 24-h after the end of the test, whereas rMSSD was significantly higher in the OFI group 48-h post-test.ConclusionOFI supplementation decreased the oxidative stress induced by intense exercise and improved autonomic balance in physically active women.

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