Background: Anatabine (ANA), a minor tobacco alkaloid found in the Solanaceae family of plants, may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity, which may be useful to aid in recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine the effects of ANA supplementation on the recovery of isometric strength and selected non-invasive indicators of muscle damage.
Methods: A double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover design was used to study eighteen men (mean ± SD age = 22.2 ± 3.1 yrs; body mass = 80.3 ± 15.7 kg) who participated in two randomly-ordered conditions separated by a washout period. The ANA condition consisted of consuming 6-12 mg anatabine per day for 10 days, while testing took place during days 7-10. The placebo (PLA) condition was identical except that the PLA supplement contained no ANA. Maximal voluntary isometric peak torque (PT) of the forearm flexors, arm circumference, hanging joint angle, and subjective pain ratings were measured before (PRE), immediately after (POST), and 24, 48, and 72 h after six sets of 10 maximal, eccentric isokinetic forearm flexion muscle actions. Resting heart rate and blood pressure were measured at PRE and 72 h in each condition.
Results: For PT, hanging joint angle, arm circumference, and subjective pain ratings, there were no condition x time (p > 0.05) interactions, there were no main effects for condition (p > 0.05), but there were main effects for time (p < 0.001). There were no condition x time (p > 0.05) interactions and no main effects for condition (p > 0.05) or time (p > 0.05) for blood pressure or resting heart rate.
Conclusions: ANA supplementation had no effect on the recovery of muscle strength, hanging joint angle, arm swelling, or subjective pain ratings after a bout of maximal eccentric exercise in the forearm flexors. Therefore, ANA may not be beneficial for those seeking to improve recovery from heavy eccentric exercise. Future studies should examine the effects of ANA on the pro-inflammatory cytokine responses to exercise-induced muscle damage and the chronic low-grade inflammation observed in obese and elderly individuals.
Keywords: Anatabine; Delayed onset muscle soreness; Eccentric muscle damage; Muscle function; Supplementation.