Device-guided slow breathing alters postprandial oxidative stress in young adult males: A randomized sham-controlled crossover trial

Published:October 10, 2022DOI:


      • Slow, deep breathing reduced antioxidant enzyme activity after a high-fat meal in young, healthy adult males.
      • Lipid peroxidation was unaltered by slow or sham breathing during the postprandial state.
      • Flow-mediated dilation was preserved following high-fat meal ingestion despite a modest increase in lipid peroxidation.


      Background and aims

      Slow, deep breathing (SDB) lowers blood pressure (BP) though the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Redox improvements could facilitate hemodynamic adjustments with SDB though this has not been investigated. The purpose of this randomized, sham-controlled trial was to examine the acute effects of SDB on oxidative stress and endothelial function during a physiological perturbation (high-fat meal) known to induce oxidative stress.

      Methods and results

      Seventeen males (ages 18–35 years) were enrolled, and anthropometric measurements and 7-day physical activity monitoring were completed. Testing sessions consisted of 24-h diet recalls (ASA24), blood sample collection for superoxide dismutase (SOD) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) analysis, and flow-mediated dilation (FMD). High-fat meals were ingested and 2-min breathing exercises (SDB or sham control breathing) were completed every 15 min during the 4-h postprandial phase. Blood sample collection and FMD were repeated 1-, 2-, and 4-h post meal consumption. Mean body mass index and step counts were 25.6 ± 4.3 kg/m2 and 8165 ± 4405 steps per day, respectively. Systolic and diastolic BP and nutrient intake 24 h prior were similar between conditions. No time or time by condition interaction effects were observed for FMD. The total area under the curve (AUC) for SOD was significantly lower during SDB compared to the sham breathing condition (p < 0.01). No differences were observed in TBARS AUC (p = 0.538).


      Findings from the current investigation suggest that SDB alters postprandial redox in the absence of changes in endothelial function in young, healthy males. Clinical trial registration number: NCT04864184.

      Clinical trials identifier



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