Effect of curcumin supplementation on physiological fatigue and physical performance in mice

Nutrients. 2015 Jan 30;7(2):905-21. doi: 10.3390/nu7020905.


Curcumin (CCM) is a well-known phytocompound and food component found in the spice turmeric and has multifunctional bioactivities. However, few studies have examined its effects on exercise performance and physical fatigue. We aimed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of CCM supplementation on fatigue and ergogenic function following physical challenge in mice. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups to receive vehicle or CCM (180 μg/mL) by oral gavage at 0, 12.3, 24.6, or 61.5 mL/kg/day for four weeks. Exercise performance and anti-fatigue function were evaluated after physical challenge by forelimb grip strength, exhaustive swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-associated biomarkers serum lactate, ammonia, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and glucose and tissue damage markers such as aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and creatine kinase (CK). CCM supplementation dose-dependently increased grip strength and endurance performance and significantly decreased lactate, ammonia, BUN, AST, ALT, and CK levels after physical challenge. Muscular glycogen content, an important energy source for exercise, was significantly increased. CCM supplementation had few subchronic toxic effects. CCM supplementation may have a wide spectrum of bioactivities for promoting health, improving exercise performance and preventing fatigue.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Ammonia / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Glycogen / metabolism*
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Swimming
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lactates
  • Ammonia
  • Glycogen
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Curcumin