The effect of protandim® supplementation on athletic performance and oxidative blood markers in runners

Seteena L. Ueberschlag, James R. Seay, Alexandra H. Roberts, Pamela C. DeSpirito, Jeremy M. Stith, Rodney J. Folz, Kathleen A. Carter, Edward P. Weiss, Gerald S. Zavorsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study determined if oral supplementation of Protandim® (a nutraceutical) for 90 days improved 5-km running performance and reduced serum thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances (TBARS) at rest, an indicator of oxidative stress. Secondary objectives were to measure whole blood superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), at rest and 10 minutes after completion of the race before and after supplementation as well as quality of life. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial, 38 runners [mean (SD) = 34 (7) yrs; BMI = 22 (2) kg/m2] received either 90 days of Protandim® [1 pill a day, n = 19)] or placebo (n = 19). Randomization was done in blocks of two controlling for sex and 5-km baseline performance. A 5- km race was performed at baseline and after 90 days of supplementation, with blood samples taken before and 10-min after each race. Fasting blood samples were acquired at baseline, after 30, 60, and 90 days of supplementation. TBARS, SOD, GPX, and GSH were assayed in an out-of-state accredited lab. Running performance was not altered by Protandim® or placebo [20.3 (2.1) minutes, with an -8 (33) seconds change in 5-km time regardless of group]. There was no change in TBARS, SOD, or GPX (at rest) after three months of Protandim1 supplementation compared to placebo. However, in a subgroup ≥ 35 years of age, there was a 2-fold higher increase in SOD in those taking Protandim® for three months compared to those on placebo (p = 0.038). The mean post-race change in TBARS (compared to pre-race) increased by about 20% in half of the subjects, but was not altered between groups, even after three months of supplementation. Quality of life was also not different between the two conditions. In conclusion, Protandim® did not (1) alter 5-km running time, (2) lower TBARS at rest (3) raise antioxidant enzyme concentrations compared to placebo (with exception of SOD in those ≥ 35 years old) or, (4) affect quality of life compared to placebo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0160559
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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