A new study has uncovered a simple and safe way for athletes to recover from competition and workouts faster.
Researchers from the University of North Texas report curcumin speeds muscle healing after intense exercise1. You may be familiar with curcumin. It’s the active compound in turmeric, the brilliant yellow spice featured in curry.
Previous studies with human subjects found curcumin reduces pain in achy, sore joints and muscles. For this study, researchers at North Texas wanted to see if it could go beyond pain relief and deliver faster physical healing suggested by lab and animal studies.2 To test this, they turned to a breakthrough curcumin delivery system.
The Curcumin Challenge
The human body breaks down curcumin during digestion. According to studies cited by the North Texas researchers, only about 5% of it makes it into the blood stream. It’s this “free” or bio-active curcumin that has shown such promising results in lab studies.
That means a 5 gram dose of curcumin only yields up to 250 mg of bio-available curcumin, the amount that can cross into the blood stream. Doses that high, however, are known to cause stomach irritation and nausea.
Past human studies have used large doses of between 1,000 to 4,000 mg (1 to 4 grams) divided over the course of a day. As a result, study participants received only small amounts of bioactive curcumin with any given dose.
For this study, North Texas researchers turned to Longvida, a curcumin supplement that is 65x more bio-available than a curcumin extract supplement. The secret behind Longvida lies in a breakthrough absorption-promoting system called SLCP™. This technology uses generally recognized as safe (GRAS) food additives to survive digestion and deliver therapeutic amounts of free curcumin.
The researchers used a 400 mg Longvida supplement that delivers 80mg of optimized curcumin. Delivered this way, the curcumin survives digestion and arrives at the site of inflammation ready to work. Their findings indicate the healing potential of curcumin may be undervalued.
Athletes Taking Longvida Curcumin Healed Faster
During high-intensity exercise athletes often feel the “burn”. This feeling is muscle damage, a completely normal process where muscle tissue breaks down under the strain. As muscle breaks down, it becomes inflamed and swollen. That’s why muscles look bigger after a workout.
Muscle break down and swelling is how muscle grows and becomes stronger. The soreness experienced after a workout results from the inflammation and repair of muscle tissue. It’s worth noting this exercise-induced swelling and soreness is similar to the inflammation of chronic conditions like arthritis.
Researchers divided twenty-eight college-age adults into two groups. The test group received the Longvida curcumin. The control group received a placebo.
Each group did high-intensity exercise in the form of leg presses to work and cause muscle breakdown in the quadriceps.
The test group took the supplement two days before and four days after the exercise. The control group took the placebo. For several days following the exercise, researchers took blood samples and observed both groups as they did “daily living” activities as a way to measure pain and soreness.
The results produced by the optimized dose of Longvida curcumin produced greater healing than observed in previous studies.
Researchers measured several inflammatory markers to examine the physical recovery of the test subjects. The curcumin group showed significantly faster healing with the following three inflammatory markers.
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Creatine kinase (CK). Your muscle, brain and kidney cells use this enzyme to create energy in the absence of oxygen.
Muscle cells produce abundant amounts of the enzyme during high stress events like the exercise done in this study. Elevated levels in the blood reflect severe muscle breakdown. Intense workouts are known to leave high levels in the blood for one week after the workout.3
In this study, the enzyme levels of the Longvida group were 48% lower on day one. They returned to pre-exercise levels by the second day.
The group who took the placebo experienced a CK-level spike the first day. They spiked again four days later. Their response matches the common observation of high levels that remain in the blood for a week after intense exercise or muscle damage.
Interleukin-8 (IL-8). Your body uses this protein to call immune cells to the damaged tissue. When the immune cells respond, they create inflammation as they break down tissue.
The study reports curcumin helps manage and balance the IL-8 response. The test group saw their levels of this signal protein drop 21% lower on the first day than those who took the placebo. On day two, their levels remained 18% lower.
TNF-a (Tumor necrosis factor alpha). This protein helps your innate immune system to break down injured, damaged and dead cells. It’s what causes inflammation.
The day after the exercise, levels of this protein were 25% lower in the curcumin group compared to the control group. Their levels remained around 25% lower for four days following the exercise.
Another inflammatory protein researchers looked at was Interleukin-6. It showed consistently lower levels in the treatment group when compared to the placebo group, but they were not statistically significant.
Unlike previous studies, North Texas researchers did not report significant pain reduction between the Longvida and placebo groups. It looks like a little soreness is the price of a high-intensity workout.
Levels of inflammation remained lower in the test group for several days after the muscle injury. Based on this and the improved healing experienced by the treatment group, the researchers recommend further research with Longvida curcumin on chronic inflammatory conditions.
Longvida Curcumin is Available Today
For centuries, traditional healers have used curcumin by way of turmeric for healing. Now, this ancient and natural compound in combination with a new absorption technology known as SLCP may offer a safer and more effective alternative to aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Athletes who want to speed post-workout recovery don’t need to wait for Longvida curcumin to hit the market. It’s available today.
Optimized Longvida curcumin has been tested and proven to produce big health benefits in more than a dozen studies and clinical trials. And it does not contain harsh solvents, metabolic inhibitors or volatile oils. For more information on Optimized Longvida curcumin click here.
* Copywriter and researcher Peter Rufa writes for a wide range of clients but specializes in health. He has written for doctors, supplement providers, healthcare, medical, and fitness organizations and businesses throughout the United States.
1 McFarlin, Brian K., et al. Reduced inflammatory and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin. BBA Clinical 5 (2016) 72–78. Available online 18 February 2016.
2 Aggarwal BB, Harikumar KB. Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2009;41(1):40-59. doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2008.06.010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2637808/
3 Johnsen SH1, Lilleng H, Wilsgaard T, Bekkelund SI. Creatine kinase activity and blood pressure in a normal population: the Tromsø study. J Hypertens. 2011 Jan;29(1):36-42. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834068e0. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21063205