The effect of 6 weeks of betaine (3.88 ± 0.49 g by kg of body weight per day) or C-phycocyanin (0.34 ± 0.0 g by kg of body weight per day) supplementation alone or in association with voluntary wheel running was tested on redox status.
Thirty Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to 6 groups: control, wheel activity, betaine with and without wheel activity, C-phycocyanin with and without wheel activity. At the end of the treatment, gastrocnemius, plasma and serum were collected on sacrificed animals. The levels of antioxidant activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathioneperoxidase, total glutathione) and the myokine irisin were evaluated. Furthermore, the oxidative stress was quantified through the thiobarbituric acid reaction, and inflammation through Cyclooxygenase-2.
Median running distance ranged from 4 to 6 km.day−1 for the entire duration of the study, whatever the group. Results showed no effect of wheel running on antioxidant markers and oxidative stress, but an increased inflammation. Elevated activity of antioxidant enzymes was observed in betaine- or C-phycocyanin–treated rats both in plasma and gastrocnemius; however the Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance levels remained stable. For the wheel-running-coupled-to-diet group, the reduction of serum lipid peroxidation was stronger than the reduction observed in the diet-alone group. In any of the 6 groups, there were no correlations between irisin concentrations and lipid peroxidation or antioxidant parameters.
The diet supplementations alone appear to have stronger effects on redox balance than the exercise training alone. It could be interesting to evaluate whether betaine or C-phycocyanin could modulate the oxidative stress and inflammation, which occurs during pathologies such as cancer.