Recent study demonstrates curcumin’s potential to support recovery post-exercise

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that Curcugen from DolCas Biotech may provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic effects following acute exercise.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Society of Sports Nutrition(ISSN) Conference and Expo, December 2020, demonstrates the anti-inflammatory role of Curcugen, a novel curcumin formulation from DolCas Biotech (Landing, NJ), following acute exercise. In the study, 24 subjects were randomized to receive either 500 mg of placebo or 500 mg of Curcugen. Prior to supplementation, they were asked to refrain from exercise for 72 hours, and nutritional supplements for more than two weeks. Subjects were assessed at baseline with the following tests: venipuncture, pressure-to-pain threshold (PPT) soreness assessment of the vastus lateralis (VL) and gastrocnemius (GC), knee ROM, and 3 trials of countermovement and squat jumps on a force plate.

Subjects were then given either the placebo or Curcugen, rested for 45 minutes, then completed an exercise protocol that consisted of 50 jumps over 50 cm hurdles and 50 drop jumps from a 50 cm plyometric box. Immediately post-exercise, then one hour, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours post-exercise, subjects were reassessed. Each group consumed 500 mg of their respective supplement two hours prior to the 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour time points. Blood was analyzed for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), protein carbonyls (PC) and myoglobin (MYO).

Results showed that the change in ROM from baseline was significantly greater at 72 hours for the curcumin group than the placebo group, change in PPT was significantly greater for the curcumin group at 48 hours and 72 hours compared to placebo, and there was no significant difference in jump performance between groups. Compared to placebo, the curcumin group also experience changes from baseline in hsCRP at one hour and 24 hours, as well as change in PC from baseline at 24 hours. There were no differences in MYO levels between groups.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that Curcugen may provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic effects following acute exercise. “This is an interesting finding which warrants further investigation into the proper use of Curcugen for recovery after exercise," said Neil Schwarz, PhD, lead author of the study, in a press release.

“Curcumin is not entirely new to the sports health industry,” noted Shavon Jackson-Michel, ND, director of medical & scientific affairs for DolCas. “Curcumin most commonly appears in capsule and pill formulations. This could be due to its water-insoluble nature. While also applicable to conventional formats, like capsules and pills, Curcugen has been uniquely formulated with a self-dispersing mechanism that allows it to be easily integrated into powdered shakes and other functional applications, even at room temperature — perfect for on-the-go enjoyment.”