Adaptogenic herb shilajit may help athletes retain muscle strength following exercise and reduce the degradation of collagen in joints, according to a recent study.
A new study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition1 shows that supplementation with a patented shilajit (PrimaVie by Natreon; New Brunswick, NJ) helped recreationally active male subjects retain muscle strength and decreased hydroxyproline (HYP), a biomarker of collagen degradation. In the 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial, 63 subjects were given either a high 500 mg/day dose of shilajit, a low 300 mg/day dose, or placebo. Prior to supplementation, subjects performed a pretest of maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs), 2 sets of 50 maximal, bilateral, concentric isokinetic leg extensions separated by 2-min of rest, a post-test MVIC, as well as blood tests to determine serum hydroxyproline. The same tests were performed following the 8-week supplementation period.
Results showed that after 8 weeks of supplementation with 500 mg/day of shilajit has favorable effects on the retention of maximal muscular strength following a fatiguing task. Specifically, the percent decline in MVIC strength was less for the high-dose group following fatiguing tasks, and in a sub-sample of subjects in the upper 50th percentile of MVIC, the high-dose group was also more resistant to fatigue and retained the greater level of maximal muscular strength, compared to low-dose and placebo groups. In addition, a sub-sample of subjects in the upper 50th percentile of pre-supplementation HYP showed that supplementation of shilajit at a dose of 500 mg/day resulted in a 29% post-supplementation decrease in HYP. This suggests a reduction in collagen degradation following supplementation.
“We are very excited about these results of from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as this enhances our growing body of research highlighting PrimaVie’s role in collagen support,” said Sanni Raju,PhD, CEO of Natreon, in a press release. “Our previous clinical studies, at Ohio State University, discovered that PrimaVie upregulates collagen and other extra cellular matrix protein genes synergistically with exercise. Furthermore, the UNL study results show PrimaVie supplementation decreases degradation of collagen in the body as evidenced by decreases in hydroxyproline. These are significant findings because it shows that PrimaVie can work two ways to enhance collagen in the body and additionally it upregulates other extra cellular matrix protein genes.”
For Natreon, this study affirms shilajit’s use in sports nutrition products. “Sports nutrition is a primary focus for Natreon, and PrimaVie is our lead ingredient in the category given its historical use as an adaptogen for energy,” said Bruce Brown, president of Natreon, in a press release.
1. Keller JL et al. “The effects of Shilajit supplementation on fatigue-induced decreases in muscular strength and serum hydroxyproline levels.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 16, no. 3 (2019)