Acute intense exercise causes significant oxidative stress and consequently an increase in total antioxidant capacity; however, the mechanisms and combined effects of intense exercise and smoking on oxidative stress among active and non-active smokers are not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acute intense exercise on antioxidant enzyme activity responses in active and non-active individuals exposed to cigarette smoke. The study included 40 subjects who were equally classified as: smokers that did exercise (SE), smokers that did not do exercise (SnE), non-smokers that did exercise (NSE), and non-smokers that did not do exercise (NSnE). The adjusted Astrand test was used to exhaust the subjects. Salivary enzymes of peroxidase (POX), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were measured, by spectrophotometry methods, at 3 different time points: pre-test (TP1), post-test (TP2), and one hour after finishing the test (TP3). Significant (p < 0.05) group x time interactions were found for the three enzymes. Salivary POX, CAT and SOD increased in all groups from TP1 to TP2 and decreased from TP2 to TP3. Only the NSE showed a significant difference between TP1 to TP3 in POX and SOD by +0.011 ± 0.007 and +0.075 ± 0.020 (U/mL), respectively. The NSE showed significantly higher activity of POX, CAT and SOD in TP2 compared to the other groups. Furthermore, NSE and NSnE had higher activity of POX, CAT and SOD in TP1 and TP3 (p < 0.05) compared with SE and SnE. Only in the NSnE, were no differences observed in CAT compared with SE and SnE in TP3. These results showed that the antioxidant activity at rest and in the recovery time after the acute intense exercise was lower in SE and SnE compared with NSE and NSnE, suggesting that smoking habit may reduce the ameliorating effect of regular physical activity on acute exercise-induced oxidative stress.
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