The present study aimed to evaluate the anti-fatigue effects of Aralia continentalis kitagawa
(AC) extract during exhaustive exercise of rats by forced swimming. Rats were subjected to forced swimming until exhausted after pre-treatment with AC extract for 21 days. Exhaustion time significantly increased in rats treated with AC extract. AC treatment also preserved blood homeostasis during fatigue due to exhaustive exercise. For fatigue-related serum biomarkers, AC extract significantly fail to decrease glucose and triglyceride (TG), but ameliorated increased lactate levels compared with levels in control rats. Metabolic acidosis, a major cause of fatigue, was effectively attenuated by AC extract, according to metabolic acidosis-related blood parameters. AC extract suppressed muscle injury and attenuated gastrocnemius muscle apoptotic responses due to exhaustive exercise. To investigate the mechanisms behind the AC extract anti-fatigue effect, we evaluated its effect on oxidative stress-related fatigue. We showed that pro-oxidants were inhibited, while antioxidants were preserved by AC extract treatment. Therefore, the anti-fatigue effect of AC extract was mediated by suppression of oxidative stress. Overall, the study demonstrated that AC extract effectively attenuates fatigue from exhaustive exercise through oxidative stress inhibition. AC extract, as an antioxidant, could be utilized as a therapeutic or preventive strategy against exhaustive exercise fatigue.
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