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Water-Soluble Curcumin Supplement May Help Reduce Inflammation and Soreness After Exercise

Curcumin gives turmeric its distinct color and flavor and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A new study suggests that a water-soluble curcumin supplement may help reduce inflammation, soreness and oxidative stress resulting from high-intensity exercise.

Twenty-four adults with an average age of 22.2 participated in the study. They abstained from exercise for 72 hours before the study and did not take any nutritional supplements for 2 weeks before the study. They were given 500 mg of a water-soluble curcumin supplement or a placebo 2 hours before performing a high-intensity exercise that consisted of 50 hurdles and 50 jump drops.

The researchers measured knee range of motion, muscle soreness, and markers of inflammation and oxidative stress at baseline and at 1, 24, 48, and 72 hours after performing the exercise. Participants were given 500 mg of the water-soluble curcumin or a placebo 2 hours before the 24-, 28-, and 72-hour evaluations.

Participants in the curcumin group saw significant improvements in knee range of motion 72 hours after exercise compared to the placebo group. They also had significant reductions in muscle soreness at 48 and 72 hours after exercise compared to the placebo group. In addition, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress were significantly better in the curcumin group 24 hours after exercise.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of South Alabama. It was published on November 20, 2020 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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