Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Health & Exercise Physiology

Faculty Mentor

Deborah Feairheller


Presented during the 20th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 20, 2018 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

The human body is constantly trying to keep itself in equilibrium while performing activities of daily living. Oxidative stress is an accumulation of free radicals, which are unstable molecules with one unpaired valence electron. The natural physiological response is to neutralize this. Antioxidants scavenge oxidative stress, and they work by donating one of their own electrons to the free radical. In clinical studies, oxidative stress has been related to numerous diseases and modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is one of the primary antioxidant enzymes that are the body’s first line of defense against the oxidative stress. Both exercise and diet have been shown to increase levels of SOD, which ultimately affects one’s overall health. The purpose of this study was to examine SOD levels in relation to CVD risk factors and assess how a Mediterranean diet and exercise intervention can change the levels of SOD. We anticipate that the SOD levels will increase with the exercise and diet intervention.


Available to Ursinus community only.