The effects of honey supplementation on seminal plasma cytokines, oxidative stress biomarkers, and antioxidants during 8 weeks of intensive cycling training.
J Androl. 2012 May-Jun;33(3):449-61. Epub 2011 Jun 2. PMID: 21636735
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of natural honey supplementation on seminal plasma cytokines, oxidative stress biomarkers, and antioxidants during 8 weeks of intensive cycling training in male road cyclists. Thirty-nine healthy nonprofessional male road cyclists aged 18-28 years participated in this study. The participants were randomly assigned to exercise + supplement (E + S, n = 20) and exercise (E, n = 19) groups. All subjects participated in 8 weeks of intensive cycling training. Ninety minutes before each training session, subjects in the E + S group supplemented with 70 g of honey, whereas subjects in the E group received 70 g of an artificial sweetener. All subjects had an initial semen sampling at baseline (T(1)). The next 6 semen collections were collected immediately (T(2)) and 12 (T(3)) and 24 hours (T(4)) after the last training session in week 4, as well as immediately (T(5)) and 12 (T(6)) and 24 hours (T(7)) after the last training session in week 8, respectively. In the E group, 8 weeks of intensive cycling training significantly increased seminal interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (P<.008) and significantly decreased the levels of seminal superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (P<.008). Significantly less elevation in seminal IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, ROS, and MDA levels (P<.008) and significant increases in seminal SOD, catalase, and TAC concentrations were observed after the honey supplementation in the E + S group (P<.008). It may be possible that honey supplementation following long-term intensive cycling training would be effective in attenuating the probable aggravating effects of intensive cycling training on spermatogenesis and fertility capacity in road cyclists.