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.
Islamic Azad University, Shabestar Branch, Department of Physical Education
and Sports Science, Member of Scientific Board
MSc (physical education and sports science)
Exercise and sports performance training and testing