Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

about us





MRI captures anticatabolic effect of curcumin

Curcumin is an interesting substance for athletes who train so intensively that their body has trouble helping its muscles to recover. And if you don't believe our blue eyes, just take a look in the archive. One problem is that the body does not absorb curcumin easily. But, according to researchers at the Spanish Olympic Training Centre, you can get round this problem by using a novel curcumin delivery system. And fortunately that novel curcumin delivery system is not so novel at all. It's been on the market for years.

The substance the Spaniards used is produced by Indena and its official name is Meriva. Meriva is curcumin preparation in which the active ingredients are enclosed in globules of phosphatidylcholine from lecithin. In this way curcumin is more easily absorbed. Two employees and a consultant from Indena participated in the study.

Similar globules also form when you digest a full meal that includes fats. Whatever form of curcumin you use, uptake is probably better if it's taken during a full meal.

The researchers gave 10 subjects 1 g Meriva [2 caps] at breakfast, and the same dose again with the evening meal, for four days. A similar-sized group were given a placebo. The subjects, by the way, were reasonably active men.

Halfway through the supplementation period the researchers got the men to run downhill for 45 minutes on a treadmill. This is a good way to push muscle fibres to their limit, and to develop sore muscles.

Two days after the test the researchers measured the amount of muscle damage in the men's leg muscles using MRI. The damage was less in the men who had taken curcumin.

ART = anterior right thigh; PRT = posterior right thigh; MRT = medial right thigh; ALT = anterior left thigh; PLT = posterior left thigh; MLT = medial left thigh.

MRI captures anticatabolic effect of curcumin

MRI captures anticatabolic effect of curcumin

The men who had used curcumin reported less muscle pain - but the difference with the placebo users was not significant.

RT = right thigh; LT = left thigh; RK = right leg; LL= left leg; Total = total pain score.

Does curcumin inhibit muscle growth?
"These findings suggest that curcumin might be beneficial in the prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness", the researchers write. "However, one might argue that, being a mild inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 1/2 (COX1/2), curcumin may interfere with muscle growth."

"In fact, the detrimental effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are known inhibitors of COXs, are an important point of concern. This effect is mediated by the inhibition of COXs, and COX2 in particular, and seems typical of all agents active on these pro-inflammatory end-points."

"Curcumin is a poor inhibitor of COX1/2, and its effects on the production of prostaglandins are essentially due to the inhibition of the (mPGES)-1, the inducible form of the ultimate enzyme involved in the generation of the single specific prostaglandin PGE2. Inhibition of (mPGES)-1 has not been related to interference with muscle growth, that seemingly results from the global depletion of prostanoids associated to the inhibition of uphill enzymes involved in their generation, like COXs."

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Jun 18;11:31.

Curcumin helps damaged muscle recover faster 13.06.2011
Curcumin isn't anticatabolic at all it's anabolic 07.06.2011