Traumeel (Tr14) is a natural, combination drug, which has been shown to modulate inflammation at the cytokine level. This study aimed to investigate potential effects of Tr14 on the exercise-induced immune response. In a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, healthy, untrained male subjects received either Tr14 (n = 40) or placebo (n = 40) for 24 h after a strenuous experimental exercise trial on a bicycle (60 min at 80%VO2 max). A range of antigen-stimulated cytokines (in vitro), white blood cell count, lymphocyte activation and apoptosis markers, and indicators of muscle damage were assessed up to 24 h following exercise. The area under the curve with respect to the increase (AUCI ) was compared between both groups. The Tr14 group showed a reduced exercise-induced leukocytosis and neutrocytosis (P < 0.01 for both), a higher AUCI score of antigen-stimulated IL-1β and IL-1α (absolute and per monocyte, all P < 0.05), a lower AUCI score of antigen-stimulated GM-CSF (P < 0.05) and by trend a lower AUCI score of antigen-stimulated IL-2 and IL-4 as well as a higher AUCI score of antigen-stimulated IL-6 (all P < 0.1). Tr14 might promote differentiated effects on the exercise-induced immune response by (a) decreasing the inflammatory response of the innate immune system; and (b) augmenting the pro-inflammatory cytokine response.
Keywords: Cytokines; complementary medicine; muscle damage; sports.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.