Excessive exercise load can cause muscle soreness and fatigue, as well as inflammation and oxidative stress. Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla; Lippia citriodora) is often used as a spice in tea or beverages. Its leaves are rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactivities. In the present study, we investigated whether supplementation with Planox® lemon verbena extract (LVE) could improve muscle damage and biochemical indicators after exhaustive exercise challenge. All subjects (30 males and 30 females) underwent a double-blind trial and were randomly divided into a placebo group (0 mg/human/day) and an LVE supplement group (400 mg/human/day), with gender-equal distribution. All subjects started supplementation 10 days before exhaustive exercise and continued it until all tests were completed. Before the intervention, after the exhaustive exercise, and on the following 3 days, the participants underwent 12-minute Cooper running/walking; blood collection; assessments of pain, muscle stiffness, maximum jump heights, and isometric maximum muscle strength. The results showed that supplementation with LVE effectively increased GPx and reduced CK, IL-6, 8-OHdG and muscle pain after the exhaustive exercise, but it had significant effect on strength recovery. In summary, LVE is a safe and edible natural plant extract that can reduce muscle damage and soreness after exercise. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04742244.
Keywords: Lemon verbena; inflammation.; muscle injury; oxidative stress.
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