Physical Education, Sport, Kinesitherapy (Physiotherapy) Research Journal
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Archive - Volume 1, Issue No.3, Published: December 2016 - Next edition - March 2017
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Art. No.15. Hormesis-like benefits of physical exercises due to increased reactive oxygen species

Christos Papageorgiou1, Vasileios Stamatopoulos1, Christos Samaras1, Nikolaos Statharakos1, Elli  Papageorgiou2, Elena Dzhambazova1
Medical Faculty, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, BULGARIA
2Drama’s Hospital, GREECE

Keywords: exercise, hormesis, reactive oxygen species

Received on 10 October, 2016.
Accepted on 02 November, 2016.
Published on 30 December, 2016.
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      During normal metabolism, the body produces unstable molecules, the most common of which are the reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increased number of ROS, called oxidative stress, is capable to damage cells. To be able to combat the adverse effects of free radicals, human body triggers the massive production of different antioxidants or accelerates their intake from foods. Scientific studies have demonstrated that long intense exercise such as endurance training, may cause an overwhelming of body's antioxidant defenses, leading to excessive oxidative stress and harmful outcomes. On the other hand regular exercise in intensity and duration has a wide range of beneficial effects on the body, by producing healthy amounts of oxidative stress. Contrary to what is believed until now, oxidative stress is beneficial in small amounts. In fact it's essential, because prompts the body cells to become stronger over time by increasing antioxidants and thus provide protection against potential injury or cellular damage. The beneficial consequences of regular exercise and harmful outcomes of exhaustive exercise due to amount of ROS production fit well with the concept of hormesis. It states that exposure to a low dose of a noxious or toxic agent can bring about results believed beneficial to the long-term welfare of the organisms. According to literature, physical inactivity combined with poor nutrition, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption leads to impairment in physiological functions and reduces the whole body resistance to oxidative stress, and can be regarded as one of the end points of the exercise associated hormesis curve. Moreover, it seems that physical inactivity through molecular pathways could facilitate the incidence of oxidative stress-related diseases. Therefore it seems that the human being is not designed to be inactive for survival.
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