In a study partly financed by Nektium Pharma, Spanish researchers found the combination of two botanical extracts improved exercise sprint performance.
The team attributed its effects to an improvement of brain oxygenation and allowing a higher muscle extraction of oxygen.
“In the present investigation, we have shown that mangiferin + luteolin supplementation allows the skeletal muscle to reach lower levels of tissue oxygenation during sprint exercise and postexercise ischemia.
“This effect could be explained by prioritizing the active skeletal muscle fibres and enhanced mitochondrial O2 extraction.
High RONS produced
The team also suggested mangiferin, a mango leaf extract, together with luteolin could have enhanced O2 extraction by improving mitochondrial function that was impaired by high RONS levels produced during repeated sprint exercise.
Natural polyphenols like mangiferin and luteolin are potent antioxidants and inhibitors of xanthine oxidase (XO) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase (NOX) - important sources of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) during exercise.
Previous work has pointed to the supplementation of polyphenolic compounds as useful in avoiding adverse effects on performance observed with the intake of antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin C during training.
Additionally, pharmacological inhibition of XO seems to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage in both animals and athletes.
Researchers from the University of Las Palmas, the University of Alcalá and Nektium Pharma, enrolled twelve healthy male students in the investigation.
Subjects were randomly assigned to a placebo (P) or treatment group (T) in a double-blind, counterbalanced crossover design.
The placebo group received microcrystalline cellulose capsules containing 500 mg of maltodextrin, while the treatment group received capsules containing luteolin and mangiferin.
Three subjects were provided with 50 milligrams per day (mg/day) of peanut husk extract containing 95% luteolin and 140 mg/d of MLE (Zynamite) containing 100 mg/day of mangiferin (low-dose treatment group; L).
The remaining three subjects of the treatment group received 100 mg/day of peanut husk extract containing 95% luteolin and 420 mg/day MLE containing 300 mg/day of mangiferin (high-dose treatment group; H).
Subjects ingested the supplements every eight hours during 15 days, then after 3–4 weeks of washout, treatment groups received placebo, and the placebo group was again split into low and high-dose treatment subgroups, also for 15 days.
The twelve men performed incremental exercise to exhaustion, followed by sprint and endurance exercise after 48 h (acute effects) and 15 days of supplementation (prolonged effects).
Results from the first (48 hours) to second trial (15 days), found instantaneous peak power (PPO) was enhanced by 22% when the subjects had taken polyphenols.
This effect was noticeably more marked in the first (+31%) than the second sprint (+14%) with no significant differences between the higher and lower doses of polyphenols on PPO values.
In the sprints post-ischemia performed with polyphenols, the mean power output (MPO) developed during the first 5 seconds increased by 23% from 48 h to 15 days.
In contrast, no significant changes were observed from 48 h to 15 days in the placebo conditions.
A trio of possible mechanisms
“This polyphenolic combination improves muscle performance after ischemia-reperfusion by facilitating muscle oxygen extraction as demonstrated by the greater reduction of the muscle oxygenation index during the first five seconds of total occlusion of the circulation at exhaustion.
“Secondly, it reduces oxygen consumption during the sprints preceded by ischemia.
“Thirdly, it may facilitate ATP production through additional recruitment of the glycolysis, as indicated by the higher levels of blood lactate concentration observed in the sprints performed after ischemia-reperfusion.
The research team also pointed out mangiferin and luteolin enhanced mean power output during prolonged sprints (30-second Wingate test) carried out after 30 min of recovery following an incremental exercise test.
“This improvement in prolonged sprint performance was accompanied by enhanced brain oxygenation and larger muscle oxygen extraction during the sprints,” the team added.
Published online: doi:10.3390/nu11020344
“Enhancement of Exercise Performance by 48 Hours, and 15-Day Supplementation with Mangiferin and Luteolin in Men.”
Authors: Miriam Gelabert-Rebato et al.