We have determined the urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels of five well trained supra-marathon runners during a four-day race. The daily running distances of the four-day race were the following; 93 km, 120 km, 56 km and 59 km, respectively. Pre-race and post-race urine samples were collected on each day and analyzed by a monoclonal antibody technique. The urinary 8-OHdG content increased significantly on the first day and tended to decrease from the third day. By the fourth day 8-OHdG content was significantly less than measured on the first three days. The serum creatine kinase activity changed in a similar fashion, showing a large increase (P<0.001) up to the third day when it decreased significantly from the peak value (P<0.05). We conclude that extreme physical exercise causes oxidative DNA damage to well trained athletes. However, repeated extreme exercise- induced oxidative stress does not propagate on increase of urinary 8-OHdG, but rather causes an adaptation leading to normalization of oxidative DNA damage.
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