Exploring effects of a natural combination medicine on exercise-induced inflammatory immune response: A double-blind RCT

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Aug;25(4):534-42. doi: 10.1111/sms.12265. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Area Under Curve
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Cytokines / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enterotoxins / immunology
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydro-Lyases / blood
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytosis
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Minerals / pharmacology*
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Enterotoxins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Minerals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Traumeel S
  • enterotoxin B, staphylococcal
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Hydro-Lyases
  • lactate dehydratase
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine

Associated data

  • EudraCT/2009-010897-39