Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Health & Exercise Physiology


Deborah Feairheller

Committee Member

April Carpenter

Committee Member

Stephen Kolwicz; Kathlene Wright

Committee Member

Jon Volkmer; Katherine van de Ruit

Department Chair

Del Engstrom

Project Description

Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an antioxidant enzyme in the body that is used as a first line of defense against the free radicals that are naturally produced. If these free radicals (unstable atoms) were not neutralized by antioxidants, oxidative stress would increase which can lead to the possible development of some chronic diseases and cancers. Studies have shown that exercising and eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamins can increase one’s SOD levels. The purpose of this study was to measure circulating SOD levels in humans before and after a diet and exercise intervention. We compared the changes in SOD levels between a group that followed a Mediterranean Diet + 6 week circuit exercise training and a control group with no intervention. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and fish, along with a decreased consumption of red meat, poultry, sweets, and dairy. The circuit training included 6 stations that were to be completed three times through, three times a week. Before and after this intervention, many vascular and fitness levels were measured alongside the blood assay measuring the SOD in order to determine the effect of the intervention.