Curcumin-pomegranate mix cuts inflammation in runners

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - dusanpetkovic
©Getty Images - dusanpetkovic

Related tags Curcumin Pomegranate Inflammation Sports nutrition Sports nutrition products

A mixture of curcumin and pomegranate has shown a reduction in systemic inflammation in a study done with runners in a half marathon race.

The study was published this week in the Journal of Dietary Supplements​.  The researchers from the University of North Texas in Denton received in kind support from Verdure Sciences, which supplied their Restoridyn supplement, a mixture of curcumin and pomegranate extracts, for use in the study.  The researchers maintained that Verdure did not have input into the study design or data analysis, however.

Real-world training scenario

The open label study recruited 18 runners training for a half marathon race and included a fairly even split between men and women.  The runners averaged about 38 years old and were all fairly slender.  Their performance was similar, with both the intervention and no treatment groups taking an average of a little more than 2 1/4 hours to complete the half marathon race. They all fell within what could be considered a casual exerciser group as the fastest runner completed the race in just a little more than 2 hours.

The subjects in the intervention group took a dosage of 1000 mg of Restoridyn a day during a 27-day training window.  Part of the trial was meant to explore the use of higher dosages of the supplement to address potential greater incidents of inflammation, so the subjects were told to take an additional 1000 mg dose following extra heavy training sessions with runs of six miles or more.  The extra doses taken ranged from a low of four to as many as eight.

On day 27 the dosage was boosted to 2000 mg of the study material with no additional booster doses.  The race was run on day 30, and an additional 2000 mg dose was taken on day 31 post race.  Blood was drawn from all participants on days 29, 30 and 31.

The primary outcome was markers of systemic inflammation in the subjects’ blood which was measured in two ways.  In one test the researchers used commercially available bead-based kits to test for various cytokines.  In the second test, the researchers used a commercial RNA isolation and testing technique.

Test material showed significant results

The researchers found significant differences in the inflammation measures between the intervention and the no supplementation groups.

“The purpose of this study was to determine which biomarkers were altered when subjects supplemented with curcumin and pomegranate extract and completed an organized half-marathon race. The goal was to identify candidate biomarkers whose post-exercise response was altered with supplementation. This study is part of our larger research agenda that is focused on identifying strategies to improve exercise effectiveness and minimize training related decrements (i.e., overuse injuries, soreness, inflammation, etc.),” ​the researchers wrote.

They concluded that, “Supplementation may be associated with a more favorable muscle recovery profile. Our findings support the notion that combined curcumin and pomegranate supplementation may represent a useful addition to a comprehensive exercise training plan.”

This research was recognized with a NutraIngredients-USA 2020 Research Project of the Year Award.

Source​: Journal of Dietary Supplements
“Alterations in Systemic Inflammatory Response Following a Half-Marathon Race with a Combined Curcumin and Pomegranate Supplement: A Feasibility Study”
Authors: Tanner EA, et al.

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