Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
 
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Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2004) 03, 64 - 69
Review article
High Altitude and Free Radicals
Tibor Bakonyi, Zsolt Radak

Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Semmelweis University,, Budapest, Hungary

Zsolt Radak
‚úČ Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Semmelweis University, Alkotas u. 44, H-1123 Budapest, Hungary
Email: radak@mail.hupe.hu

Received:
15-04-2004 -- Accepted: 10-05-2004 --
Published (online): 01-06-2004

ABSTRACT

High altitude exposure results in decreased oxygen pressure and an increased formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), which is often associated with increases in oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA. Exposure to high altitude appears to decrease the activity and effectiveness of antioxidant enzymes system. Moreover, during high altitude exposure several RONS generating source are activated, including mitochondrial electron transport chain, xanthine oxidase, and nitric oxide synthase (NO). Physical exercise at high altitude can further enhance the oxidative stress. The available information suggests that RONS are involved and are even a causative factor of acute mountain sickness. Supplementation of antioxidant seems to be a necessary step to prevent or decrease to high altitude exposure associated oxidative stress.

Key words: High altitude, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, oxidative stress, oxidative damage, antioxidants, acute mountain sickness
Key Points
Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species
High altitude-induced oxidative stress
Antioxidant down regulation by altitude
Exercise and altitude associated oxidative stress

  

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