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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.31 - 2012
ARTICLE – abstract

Sauna effect on blood oxygen transport and prooxidant-antioxidant balance in athletes

Viktor Zinchuk, Dzmitry Zhadzko
Department of Physiology, Grodno State Medical University, Belarus


Study of sauna effects on the athletes’ organism is an important problem, but the data on sauna impact on the blood O2 transport and lipid peroxidation processes in the athletes’ body in the literature is lacking. The purpose of study was to evaluate the state of blood oxygen transport and prooxidant-antioxidant balance in athletes after a single sauna exposure as well as after a sauna course. Material and Methods. The effect of sauna (temperature 85-90°С, relative humidity 10-15%) on blood oxygen transport and prooxidant-antioxidant balance in qualified male athletes-wrestlers (age=18-25; n=16) was investigated. Results. A single sauna procedure caused respiratory alkalosis (increased blood pH by 0.8% (p<0.001)), elevation of O2 concentration in venous blood by 53.3% (р<0.001), increase P50 (at which hemoglobin is 50% saturated) by 10.99% (р<0.001), thus reflecting the right shift of oxyhemoglobin-dissociation curve, development of oxidative stress. After a sauna course (1 procedure every week for five months), there was a similar pattern of blood oxygen transport parameters change and normalization of prooxidant-antioxidant balance. The growth of nitric oxide (NO) production, according to increased plasma nitrate/nitrite concentration after the first procedure by 26.2%, after a final sauna by 25.5%, reflected its contribution to the oxygen-dependent processes under thermal exposure. Conclusion. The sauna provides adaptations of oxygen-binding blood properties and mechanisms of antioxidant protection via NO-dependent processes, which can increase the athletes body's resistance to various stress-inducing factors.
Key words:

sauna, blood oxygen transport, lipid peroxidation, antioxidants, nitric oxide, athletes

Full article:

Sauna effect on blood oxygen transport and prooxidant-antioxidant balance in athletes

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