Vitamin C and E Effects

The Effects of Combination Vitamin E and C Supplementation on Bioenergitics Index

Morteza Jourkesh, MSc

1 - Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Islamic Azad University, Shabestar Branch, Iran.

2 - Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch, Iran.


In order to study the effects of vitamin E, vitamin C, or combination of vitamin E and C supplementation on bioenergitics index (aerobic and anaerobic power) 36 physical education college students (male), were selected non – randomly and they were set in 4 groups randomly. Average of age, weight, height and fat percentage of them was (22.48 ± 1.84) years, (64.93 ± 7.84) kilograms, (175.4 ± 5.66) centimetres and (10.94 ± 5.29) milimetres, respectively. The period considered for consumption of vitamins by expermental groups was a three week period that in this period the first group consumed dose of (400 mg) vitamin E and second group (1000 mg) vitamin C and third group (400 mg vitamin E plus 1000 mg vitamin C) daily and fourth group (control group) consumed placebo. The test which have been exerted in this research consist of:

1) assessment of anaerobic power by »RAST« test.
2) assessment of aerobic power by cooper test.

Finally data in four group was analyzed by one and two-way ANOVA statistical method. Result indicated that there was not a siginficant (p < 0.05) difference between four group in anaerobic power whereas,there was a significant (p < 0.05) difference between four group in aerobic power. Therefore we concluded that daily consumption of 400 mg vitamin E, 1000 mg vitamin C and 400 mg vitamin E plus 1000 mg vitamin C for a period of three week dose not Have any effect on the basis of improvement of anaerobic power, whereas have effect on aerobic power.

Key Words: vitamin E, vitamin C, aerobic power, anaerobic power.


The recent interest in antioxidants and free radicals has prompted an increase in the supplementation of these substances by many in the general public. Athletes believe that supplementing their diet with antioxidants helps to maintain optimum fitness. It is well accepted that exercise causes an increase in the production of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Powers and Hamilton, 1999). A proliferation of these free radicals can cause a decrease in the function of affected cells and can result in a decreased ability of muscles to maintain work. Some may believe that the ingestion of antioxidants will help to stave off this proliferation of free radicals during exercise and thus provide a beneficial effect. Vitamin E and vitamin C, are two antioxidants that have garnered the most attention from those who wish to supplement their diets with exogenous nutrients. Vitamin E works to protect cell membranes by breaking the chain reactions that attack the lipid portions of those membranes. Vitamin C works in conjunction with vitamin E and is located in the cytosol of cells. It helps to regenerate vitamin E that has been used to fight the lipid peroxidation occurring within cell membranes.

In one particular animal study, Lang, Gohil, and Packer (1986) supplemented guinea pigs with up to 4 grams/kg of body weight of vitamin C for two weeks and observed an increase in endurance capacity. At the same time, they did not see a concomitant increase in vitamin C tissue levels, but saw a decrease in muscle vitamin E levels. In addition, ubiquinone levels stayed constant. They suggested that this might show a tissue specific interaction between C, E, and ubiquinone. Human studies reveal conflicting results. As early as 1966, Spioch, Kobza, and Mazur (1966) injected volunteers with 500 mg of vitamin C before a 5-minute step test to evaluate the effectiveness of supplementation on human performance. They found a reduction in oxygen consumption (by 12%), oxygen debt (by 40%), and pulse rate (by 11%). Unfortunately, this study was uncontrolled. Consequently there was no way to know if the improvements were attributed to the supplementation or training effect.

In 1985 a vitamin C supplemented group of 16 healthy female Indian physical education college students, saw improvement in physical efficiency (by 5.0 on the Harvard Step Test), and a 9-minute walk / run (236.77 meters) (Samanta and Biswas, 1985). However, only the improvement in 9-minute walk in the supplemented group was significant at p<0.05. Students were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group. Each subject in the experimental group was given a 500mg vitamin C tablet every day for four weeks. Unfortunately, they did not compare results against a sedentary group to see differences between physically active individuals and the latter. In a study using 286 American Air Force officers, half of whom supplemented with 1 gram of vitamin C daily for 12 weeks, a small improvement was seen in endurance performance (12-minute run) between supplemented and unsupplemented subjects (Gey, Cooper, Bottenberg, 1970). However, this improvement was not statistically significant (less than 1%). Keren and Epstein (1980) saw no improvement in maximum oxygen uptake during a cycle-ergometer test, in untrained subjects after they ingested 1 gram of vitamin C daily. The untrained subjects were assigned to a supplemented group or a placebo group. Each group was given either 1000mg per day of vitamin C or a placebo for 21 days in a double-blind manner. Before and after supplementation VO2 max and anaerobic capacity were measured. After 21 days of aerobic training (running and hiking), in conjunction with the supplementation protocol, no differences were seen (p<0.05) in the aerobic or anaerobic capacities of the two groups.

Sumida, Tanaka, Kitao, and Nakadomo (1988) supplemented twenty-one healthy male college volunteers with 300 mg vitamin E for four weeks. The subjects performed a pre-supplementation and post-supplementation protocol of exercising to exhaustion using an incremental exercise test upon a Monark cycle-ergometer. The exercise test involved subjects pedaling a Monark bicycle-ergometer at an initial work rate of 4 minutes at zero watts. Thereafter, the work rate was increased by 15 watts every minute until a pedaling rate of 60 rpm could no longer be maintained. Following data collection, the investigators found no significant difference in VO2 peak (Control - 48.9 ml/kg/min; Vit E - 49.1 ml/kg/min) or time to exhaustion (Control - 19.0 min; Vit E - 19.1 min). However, this was not a double-blind placebo controlled trial. However, we see a variety of different methods to test the effectiveness of vitamin C but, no clear cut determination of its influence upon muscular work. Finally, none of the studies cited have used the mixture of beta- carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E when investigating antioxidant supplementation upon muscular work. Although there has been no conclusive evidence to support the supplementation of these nutrients, perhaps the combination of these three may have a significant effect considering their interrelationship within the cell membrane. Also, no one has compared the effect vitamin E, and vitamin C in combination upon aerobic and anaerobic power using a double-blind crossover experimental design. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of vitamin E, vitamin C and combination of vitamin E and vitamin C supplementation upon aerobic and anaerobic power in male college students.


Mortza Jourkesh


Islamic Azad University, Shabestar Branch, Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Member of Scientific Board


MSc (physical education and sports science)

Research interests

Exercise and sports performance training and testing

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