Younger adults may experience more antioxidant benefits from a single 30-minute workout than older adults, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by Tinna Traustadóttir of Northern Arizona University and published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, a journal of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine, suggests that an individual’s antioxidant response to exercise may become suppressed with age, according to a media release from Northern Arizona University.

In the study, Traustadóttir and other members of the research team tested a group of men ages 18 to 30 against a group of older men 55 years and older—all of whom were generally healthy, non-smokers, and were not taking antioxidant supplements other than vitamins, or NSAIDS, for 2 weeks leading up to the exercise sessions.

Both groups rode on a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes, and had their blood drawn six different times to measure their cell function and antioxidant response.

According to the findings, a single session of submaximal aerobic exercise is sufficient to activate an important group of antioxidant genes at the whole cell level in both young and older adults. However, nuclear import of Nrf2, the regulator for this group of antioxidant genes, is impaired with aging. Nuclear import is required for Nrf2 to access the antioxidant gene targets, the release explains.

“Through this study, we were able to determine that an individual’s antioxidant response to exercise becomes suppressed with age,” says Traustadóttir, an associate professor of biology at Northern Arizona University, in the release.

“Exercise is effective and critical for people of all ages, but this study shows that older adults do not achieve the same beneficial cellular responses as younger adults from a single bout of moderate exercise,” Traustadóttir adds.

[Source(s): Northern Arizona University, Science Daily]