Dispatches from Experimental Biology 2017

Curcumin may boost recovery and maintain performance during workouts

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Dietary supplements formulated with highly bioavailable curcumin may allow for faster recovery after competition-level training, and blunt training-related decreases in performance , says new data presented at Experimental Biology 2017. 

Using OmniActive’s CurcuWin ingredient, scientists reported that supplementation for eight weeks resulted in significant reductions in levels of creatine kinase, a marker of muscle damage, while self-reported pain scores were also significantly lower 24 hours post-exercise.

A daily 200 mg dose of curcuminoids (in the form of 1,000 mg CurcuWin) was also associated with a decrease in performance declines observed during

“These data suggest that high dose bioavailable curcumin (200 mg curcuminoids) attenuates performance decrements following downhill running, eccentric loading, which may improve subsequent adaptations to chronic training,” ​wrote the researchers in the FASEB Journal​.

Dr Ralf Jäger from Wisconsin-based Increnovo and co-author on the study reports, explained to NutraIngredients-USA that curcumin’s sports nutrition benefits were linked to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential.

Muscle damage study

The researchers recruited 59 moderately trained men and 29 women with an average age of 21 to participate in their double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled parallel design study. The participants were randomly assigned to receive 250 mg or 1,000 mg of CurcuWin or placebo per day for eight weeks.

The data indicated that, following muscle-damaging exercise, the high dose curcumin group experienced significantly lower pain scores, while increases in creatine kinase (CK) levels were also significantly reduced compared to placebo, when the baseline CK value is held constant at the mean.

“These data demonstrate curcuminoids reduce muscle damage and improve muscle soreness in healthy young subjects following a bout of muscle damaging exercise. Faster recovery allows for consistent training at competition intensity and might lead to enhanced adaptation rate and performance,”​ they wrote in the FASEB Journal​.


A separate analysis was done with 62 men and women randomly assigned to 250 mg or 1,000 mg of CurcuWin per day or placebo. After eight weeks the subjects performced downhill running, which promotes muscle damage.

The results showed that performance declined significantly in both the placebo and low-dose curcumin group, but such declined were attenuated in the high-dose curcumin group.

“Further study is warranted in other exercise types (i.e. resistance training) and chronically,” ​wrote the researchers.

The studies were performed by scientists from Increnovo, Texas Christian University, the University of Arkansas, Massey University, and Summit Analytical, LLC

Expanding research

The CurcuWin posters were just two among several presented at Experimental Biology this week in Chicago that focused on ingredients from OmniActive Health Technologies. Other studies reported benefits for the company’s OmniLean Salacia Extract and OmniXan RR-Zeaxanthin from Paprika.

Commenting on the presentations, Dr. Jayant Deshpande, CTO, OmniActive, said: “What drives innovation in nutraceuticals is science and OmniActive is dedicated to expanding research on our portfolio of ingredients to further human health.”

Source: FASEB Journal
April 2017, 31:lb766
“Curcumin Reduces Muscle Damage and Soreness Following Muscle-Damaging Exercise”
Authors: R. Jäger et al.

FASEB Journal
April 2017, 31:lb415
“Novel Form of Curcumin Attenuates Performance Decrements Following Muscle Damaging Exercise”
Authors; J.M. Oliver et al.

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