Curcumin supplement reduces muscle damage post-exercise: Human data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

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‘Optimized’ curcumin may reduce markers of inflammation and muscle damage following excessive exercise, says a new study.

A daily 400 mg dose of curcumin as the the commercial Longvida (Verdure Sciences) product for two days before exercise designed to induce muscle damage (EIMD) and for four days afterwards significantly reduced the increases in creatine kinase (a marker of muscle damage), TNF-alpha and IL-8 (markers of inflammation), compared with placebo.

On the other hand, no differences between curcumin and placebo were observed for muscle soreness, report researchers from the University of North Texas in BBA Clinical​.

Study details

The Texas-based scientists recruited 28 people with an average age of 20 to participate in their small, short-term study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the oral curcumin supplementation (400 mg per day of Longvida) or placebo for two days and then participate in a leg press exercise. They were followed for a further four days.

Results showed that both groups displayed increases in creatine kinase, but these were 45% lower in the curcumin group, compared to placebo. Moreover, increases in TNF-alpha and IL-8 were 25% and 21% lower in the curcumin group, said the researchers. No significant differences were observed between the groups for IL-6, IL-10, or quadriceps muscle soreness, said the researchers.

Interest in curcumin/turmeric has sky rocketed in recent years, making curcumin/turmeric a top seller among herbal dietary supplements.

The science has continued to grow, too, with new studies supporting the potential brain, cardiovascular, joint, and muscle benefits of the ingredient.

“The observed improvements in biological inflammation may translate to faster recovery and improved functional capacity during subsequent exercise sessions,”​ said Dr Brian McFarlin, lead author on the study.

The study’s findings were welcomed by Sonya Cropper, VP of Marketing & Innovation with Verdure Sciences: “I am pleased to see additional support of Longvida’s efficacious capability to promote active lifestyle activities,”​ she said. “It is impressive to see a second clinical that supports Longvida’s impact on particular biomarkers that influence health.”

Source: BBA Clinical
2016, Volume 5, Pages 72-78, doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.02.003
“Reduced inflammatory and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin”
Authors: B.K. McFarlin, et al.

Editor's note: This article was corrected to clarify that subjects were administered 400 mg/day Longvida Optimized Curcumin. The amount of curcumin in 400 mg of Longvida is 80 mg.

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