¿Tomar suplementos de vitaminas antioxidantes es bueno o malo? En teoría, su función es positiva: contrarrestar el daño oxidativo. Sin embargo, las personas que los consumen de forma habitual no gozan de mejor salud. Es más, una ingesta excesiva puede ser contraproducente e, incluso, incrementar la mortalidad. Si usted toma alguno de estos complejos porque se lo ha recetado su médico para tratar una deficiencia concreta, siga haciéndolo.

Hace años se pensaba que los agentes oxidantes (radicales libres, especies reactivas del oxígeno) eran siempre perjudiciales, pero hoy se sabe que también pueden ser beneficiosos, ya que ejercen ciertas funciones valiosas, como contribuir a la síntesis de energía o potenciar nuestras defensas. La clave está en el equilibrio entre oxidantes y antioxidantes; hay que evitar un exceso en cualquiera de los dos lados de la balanza.

Varios expertos reunidos en Madrid con motivo del XI Congreso de la Federación Europea de Sociedades de Nutrición debatieron sobre las últimas evidencias científicas relativas al papel de los antioxidantes. José Viña, del Departamento de Fisiología de la Faculta de Medicina de la Universidad de Valencia, hizo especial hincapié en la relación entre estos micronutrientes y el ejercicio físico.

El deporte, que es una actividad indiscutiblemente saludable, genera radicales libres. Resulta lógico pensar que el uso de complejos vitamínicos reducirá esos agentes oxidantes. Sin embargo, tal y como apuntó Viña, “el ejercicio moderado es antioxidante”

Los altos niveles de especies reactivas de oxígeno (ROS) que se producen en el músculo esquelético durante el ejercicio se han asociado con el daño muscular y la función muscular alterada. Un apoyo a los sistemas de defensa endógenos con dosis orales adicionales de antioxidantes ha recibido mucha atención como una estrategia no invasiva para prevenir o reducir el estrés oxidativo, provocado por el ejercicio extenuante, con el objetivo de disminuir el daño muscular y mejorar el rendimiento del ejercicio. Más de 150 artículos han sido publicados sobre este tema, de los cuales, casi la mitad son estudios de baja calidad. El hallazgo consistente , es que la suplementación con antioxidantes atenúa el estrés oxidativo inducido por el ejercicio. Sin embargo, las posibles consecuencias fisiológicas provocada en la Propia adaptación de esta administración aún no se han demostrado de forma consistente. Por otra parte, un creciente grupo defiende la evidencia científica de efectos perjudiciales de los suplementos antioxidantes en los beneficios para la salud y el desempeño de la práctica de ejercicio. De hecho, aunque ROS se asocian con eventos biológicos nocivos, también son esenciales para el desarrollo y la función óptima de cada célula. El objetivo de esta revisión es presentar y discutir 23 estudios que han demostrado que la suplementación antioxidante interfiere con las adaptaciones inducidas por el entrenamiento de ejercicio. Las principales conclusiones de estos estudios son que, en determinadas situaciones, la carga de la celda con altas dosis de antioxidantes conduce a una reducción de los efectos positivos de la práctica de ejercicio e interfiere con importantes procesos fisiológicos mediados por ROS, como la vasodilatación y la señalización de la insulina, tan importantes en la función fisiológica humana. Se necesita más investigación para producir directrices basadas en la evidencia sobre el uso de la suplementación con antioxidantes durante el entrenamiento.

Los resultados de otros ensayos clínicos y las revisiones sistemáticas publicados recientemente dan al traste con las expectativas que había generado este campo de la nutrición. “Suplementos y reducción de la mortalidad y del riesgo de enfermar, ¿otro mito que se desvanece?”. Así enunció su conferencia Antonis Zampelas, del Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Alimentación de la Universidad Agrícola de Atenas (Grecia).

La respuesta es sí; la leyenda ya no se sostiene. En la mayoría de los casos, la administración de las vitamina A, C, E o de selenio no tuvo ningún efecto beneficioso. En algunos estudios, no sólo no se redujo el riesgo de padecer enfermedades, sino que se observó un aumento de la mortalidad. En todo caso, el investigador aclara que “en la mayoría de trabajos que evaluaron la mortalidad se dieron dosis ingentes de antioxidantes”.

Conclusión

Se recomienda una ingesta adecuada de vitaminas y minerales a través de una dieta variada y equilibrada sigue siendo el mejor método para mantener el status antioxidante óptimo en las personas que se ejercitan físicamenteMi opinión para deportista sanos es la siguiente; La ingesta de antioxidantes en deportistas tiene un efecto perjudicial en el rendimiento ya que impide la adaptación por el mismo entrenamiento. Algunos fisicoculturistas abusan de por ejemplo de la vitamina C (ingestas cada 5h) por ser “anti-catabólico” al descender cortisol, lo que consiguen es reducir el impacto del entrenamiento a nivel muscular

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