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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition


Introduction: High-intensity exercise (HIE) can damage the musculotendon complex and impact the immune response, resulting in post-exercise inflammation. Sufficient rest and recovery will improve muscular resilience against future damaging bouts; however, HIE with minimal durations of rest is common in athletic competitions that facilitate persistent inflammation and immune dysregulation. Fucoidans are fucose-rich sulfated polysaccharides with demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pro-immune responses. Fucoidans may improve inflammation and immune responses, which may prove beneficial for individuals who regularly engage in repeated HIE. The research purpose was to investigate the safety and efficacy of fucoidans on inflammatory and immune markers following HIE.

Methods: Eight male and eight female participants were randomized into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, crossover design study and supplemented with 1 g/day fucoidan from Undaria pinnatifida (UPF) or placebo (PL) for 2 weeks. Supplementation periods concluded with HIE testing, followed by 1 week of washout. HIE involved one > 30 s Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) and eight 10 s WAnT intervals. Blood was drawn preexercise, immediately post-exercise, 30 min, and 60 min post-exercise to assess immune and inflammatory markers. Blood markers, peak power (PP), and mean power (MP) were analyzed using a 2 (condition) × 4 (time) design. Significance was set at α = .05.

Results: A time-by-condition interaction was observed for interleukin- 6 (p = .01) and interleukin-10 (p = .008). Post hoc analysis revealed greater interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 concentrations at 30 min post HIE with UPF supplementation (p = .002 and p = .005, respectively). No effects of condition were observed for all blood markers or performance outcomes with UPF supplementation (p > .05). Main effects of time were observed for white blood cells, red blood cells, red cell distribution width, mean platelet volume, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, natural killer cells, B and T-lymphocytes, CD4 and CD8 cells (p < .05).



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