Amaranth is a plant known for a long time but forgotten in vain. Its biological value as a source of high-grade protein and various physiologically active substances necessary for ensuring the vital activity of the human body is very high. For the sport of higher achievements, amaranth is an extremely useful plant, since its different parts (stems, leaves, fruit) contain active substances of a protective nature (essential amino acids, carbohydrates, natural antioxidants), tocopherols, squalene and glycosides of flavonoid type, and also essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, a number of vitamins and minerals, etc. Due to these features, amaranth exhibits a sufficiently high hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, membrane-protective activity. It is also able to protect genes of different genesis damaging effects, which is of particular importance for persons under the influence of long-term oxidative stress generated as a result of prolonged and intense exercise. The article is a review presenting data from modern studies obtained using the latest methodological approaches (Western blot analysis, MALDI-TOF analysis, liquid chromatography combined with the use of a photodiode array and fluorescent detectors, etc.), the biological value of amaranth, the effects of its influence on the modulation of the negative effects of regular high-intensity training process on the body of athletes. Material and methods. The ability of amaranth to serve as a donor of nitric oxide, comparable in power to a reference substance such as the amino acid L-arginine, used in the form of numerous foreign food supplements based on it and the domestic drug tivortin aspartate, is of particular importance for higher achievements in sports. The discovery of the enzyme alcalase in the seeds of amaranth, which is capable of releasing antihypertensive peptides during protein hydrolysis, which affect the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, can have a positive effect on preventing myocardial pathology forming by economizing its work in athletes training. Results and discussion. The study also showed that in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness of amaranth oil during course taking (4 weeks) in athletes specializing in running at medium distances of 1500 m and 3000 m, a decrease in the severity of psychophysiological stress was observed from 44.8 ± 2.5 points to 31.7 ± 1.4 points (p <0.001), as well as a decrease in the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections by 18.8 % compared with those in the placebo control group (unrefined vegetable oil). In addition, we found a significant improvement in prooxidant-antioxidant balance in erythrocyte membranes with a decrease in the content of malondialdehyde with a parallel increase in the content of reduced glutathione in comparison with the placebo control group (p < 0.05). A pronounced hepatoprotective activity was also established in the conditions of the study in athletes on a real-time basis by the end of the observation period, which was not observed in the placebo control group. At the same time, in athletes of the main group, after taking amaranth oil, there was a significant increase in the running speed to 5.32 ± 0.12 m×sec-1 against the data in the placebo-control group which was 4.97 ± 0.10 m×sec-1 while decreasing heart rate to 171.90 ± 3.42 beats×min-1 and 184.21 ±3.18 beats×min-1, respectively (p < 0.05). Conclusions. The obtained data indicates an improvement in aerobic performance without an increase in the load on the myocardium of athletes, which makes it possible to recommend the use of domestic extract from amaranth seeds (produced by LLC Alef-Cohen, Kharkov) in the process of training of qualified representatives of cyclic sports.
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