Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of β-hydroxy-β methylbutyrate free acid (HMB-FA) ingestion on oxidative stress and leukocyte responses to plyometric exercise. Methods: In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design, physically active males were assigned to the HMB-FA (n = 8) or placebo (n = 8) groups that consumed either 1 g of HMB-FA or placebo 30 min prior to performing an acute plyometric exercise protocol (15 sets of 10 repetitions of maximal-effort vertical jumps). Blood was obtained pre-(T1), post-(T2), and 1-h post-(T3) exercise to determine changes in serum levels of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl (PC), and white blood cells (WBC). Results: The exercise protocol significantly elevated 8-OHdG (HMB-FA, T2 9.5 and T3 12.6%; placebo, T2 18.2 and T3 36.5%), MDA (HMB-FA, T2 11.6 and T3 25.2%; placebo, T2 11.8 and T3 41%) and PC (HMB-FA, T2 6.9 and T3 25%; placebo, T2 23.4 and T3 55.3%) at post- and 1-h post-exercise, respectively. However, at 1-h post-exercise, greater increases in oxidative stress markers (8-OHdG 36.5 vs. 12.6%; MDA 41 vs. 25.1% and PC 55.3 vs. 25%) were observed in the placebo group compared to the HMB-FA group (p < 0.05). In addition, the WBC level was greater for the placebo group in comparison to the HMB-FA group at post-exercise. Conclusion: HMB-FA attenuated oxidative stress and leukocyte responses to plyometric exercise compared with placebo.
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