Spice Combats Soreness
The yellow pigment that gives turmeric its color, curcumin has been shown by numerous previous studies to exert antioxidant and anti-inflammation regenerative medicine effects.
The science has continued to grow, too, with new studies supporting the potential brain, cardiovascular, joint, and muscle benefits of the ingredient. The new study suggests a role for the ingredient in the booming sports nutrition sector, but more research is needed to support these preliminary results.
“Further research is required to determine the mechanisms of action, to quantify if the effect is great enough to provide short-term worthwhile benefit to performance sports, military and other activity causing skeletal muscle trauma, and to assess curcumin’s effect on females and clinical populations,” wrote the researchers.
“Other work should explore the effects of chronic supplementation on training adaptation, to investigate the possibility of attenuated exercise adaptation in sport and clinical populations.”
Dr Rowlands and his co-workers recruited 17 men to participate in their double-blind randomized-controlled crossover trial. The men were randomly assigned to receive 5 grams per day of curcumin orally or placebo for two days before and three days after a performance tests. This was followed by a two week washout period and then men were then crossed over to the other group. The dose was calculated from animal studies and extrapolated to humans.
Results showed that one and two days after exercise that curcumin supplementation was associated with moderate-large reductions in pain during a variety of exercises, including single-leg squat, gluteal stretch, and squat jump.
“Associated with the pain reduction was a small increase in single-leg jump performance of 15%,” said the researchers. “Oral curcumin likely reduces pain associated with DOMS with some evidence for enhanced recovery of muscle performance,” they wrote. The researchers produced the supplement themselves, and there were no adverse events reported by the study participants. The research team does not have any plans at present for further work, but would be interested if a funding opportunity arose to do a dose response study and work with the elderly.