2002 Volume 69 Issue 6 Pages 542-548
This study was designed to investigate the influence of maternal aerobic exercise on lipid peroxidation levels and antioxidant enzymatic activities before and after delivery.
Predelivery and 1- and 24-hour post partum blood samples were collected from 18 nulliparous healthy pregnant women who exercised regularly throughout the whole period of pregnancy and from 22 matched controls. The plasma concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) was measured as an indicator of lipid peroxidation. Erythrocyte enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) and catalase (CAT), were measured as intracellular antioxidant markers.
In the control group, MDA increased slightly from predelivery to 1 hour post partum and then increased significantly at 24 hours post partum, with significant increase in SOD and CAT activities. On the other hand, MDA of the exercise group remained unaltered at 1 and 24 hours after delivery. At 1 hour post partum, the SOD and CAT levels of the exercise group increased markedly and then decreased to predelivery levels.
The present results indicate that uncontrolled lipid peroxidation occurs during labor and suggest that continuing regular maternal exercise may reduce labor-induced lipid peroxidation by improving the defense capabilities against free radical generation.