Purpose: The purpose of this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was to investigate the effects of the natural combination medicine Traumeel (Tr14) consisting of 14 diluted biological and mineral components on the inflammatory immune response and recovery up to 72 h after repetitive bouts of bicycle tests.
Methods: Antigen-stimulated IL-1ra and IL-6 were defined as primary outcome measures. Moreover, various immunological and serum muscle damage markers were investigated. The evaluation was performed using the score of the area under the curve with respect to increase (AUCi) for 24 and 72 h after the second exercise test (EX2).
Results: The Tr14 group indicated a lower decrease of lymphocytes by tendency (p = 0.06) and a lower activation of lymphocyte activation markers (CD62L absolute: p = 0.04; CD69: p = 0.01 and CD69 absolute: p = 0.05) in the period 24 h after EX2. In addition, the Tr14 group indicated a higher expression of antigen-stimulated CCL3 (p = 0.01), CCL4 (p = 0.07) and serum CCL2 (p = 0.05) in the period 24 h after EX2. There was a tendentially lower decrease of monocytes (p = 0.09) and a lower expression of antigen-stimulated MMP-3 (p = 0.01) in the Tr14 group in the period 72 h after EX2. However, antigen-stimulated IL-1ra and IL-6 showed no group differences.
Conclusion: In line with the previous results, it was shown that Tr14 attenuates the adaptive immune response partially. Furthermore, the results indicate that Tr14 is able to stimulate the innate immune system via an increased production of pro-inflammatory chemokines. It is speculated that the higher expression of chemokines might play a role in the regeneration and recovery after exercise.
Keywords: Cytokines; Exercise; Muscle; Regeneration; Traumeel.