Effect of running exercise on oxidative stress biomarkers: a systematic review

Anand Thirupathi*, Ricardo A. Pinho, Ukadike C. Ugbolue, Yuhuan He, Yao Meng, Yaodong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Exercise induced health benefits are limited by the overaccumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS and further oxidative stress could potentially induce muscle damage which could result in poor exercise performance. However, predicting ROS induced oxidative stress in response to endurance training has several limitations in terms of selecting biomarkers that are used to measure oxidative stress.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the suitable biomarkers that predict oxidative stress status among runners.

Methods: According to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, a search for relevant articles was carried out on PubMed/Medline, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar using related search terms such as oxidative damage, ROS, exercise, physical training, running, marathon, and ultramarathon.

Results: Outcomes included (1) running programs like a half-marathon, ultramarathon, and iron-man race, (2) measuring biochemical assessment of oxidative damage markers such as malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl (PC), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), and F1-isoprostones, and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants level.

Conclusions: This study concluded that a running exercise does not elicit a response to specific biomarkers of oxidative stress, instead, oxidative damage markers of lipids, proteins, and various enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants are expressed according to the training status of the individual.
Original languageEnglish
Article number610112
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021


  • running
  • marathon
  • ROS
  • biomarkers
  • oxidative stress
  • antioxidants


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