A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition shows that curcumin may help decrease muscle soreness from oxidative stress and inflammation associated with continuous exercise. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded clinical study, the researchers investigated the effects of Indena’s bioavailable curcumin formulation (Meriva) on exercise-induced DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) in 20 male, healthy and moderately active volunteers. The participants were randomized to receive 1 g of Meriva twice daily (200 mg curcumin) or a matching placebo.
Supplementation was initiated 48 hours prior to a downhill running test and was continued for 24 hours after the test (four days in total). Muscle soreness was quantified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), laboratory tests, and histologic analyses on muscle samples obtained 48 hours after the test. Volunteer-reported discomfort intensity was also recorded: they were asked to indicate the site of pain on a drawing representing the lower limbs, and to rank pain intensity when descending or climbing stairs.
The researchers found that supplementation with Meriva reduced muscle distress as evidenced by MRI in the posterior or medial compartment of the thighs. In addition, it was associated with less discomfort in the lower limb and a blunted systemic inflammatory response when compared to a placebo.