Background: Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage (EIMD) and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) impact subsequent training sessions and activities of daily living (ADL) even in active individuals. In sedentary or diseased individuals, EIMD and DOMS may be even more pronounced and present even in the absence of structured exercise.
Methods: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of oral curcumin supplementation (Longvida® 400 mg/days) on muscle & ADL soreness, creatine kinase (CK), and inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10) following EMID (eccentric-only dual-leg press exercise). Subjects (N = 28) were randomly assigned to either curcumin (400 mg/day) or placebo (rice flour) and supplemented 2 days before to 4 days after EMID. Blood samples were collected prior to (PRE), and 1, 2, 3, and 4 days after EIMD to measure CK and inflammatory cytokines. Data were analyzed by ANOVA with P < 0.05.
Results: Curcumin supplementation resulted in significantly smaller increases in CK (- 48%), TNF-α (- 25%), and IL-8 (- 21%) following EIMD compared to placebo. We observed no significant differences in IL-6, IL-10, or quadriceps muscle soreness between conditions for this sample size.
Conclusions: Collectively, the findings demonstrated that consumption of curcumin reduced biological inflammation, but not quadriceps muscle soreness, during recovery after EIMD. The observed improvements in biological inflammation may translate to faster recovery and improved functional capacity during subsequent exercise sessions.
General significance: These findings support the use of oral curcumin supplementation to reduce the symptoms of EIMD. The next logical step is to evaluate further the efficacy of an inflammatory clinical disease model.
Keywords: Cytokines; Inflammation; Leg press; Multiplex.