Milan, Italy—A new study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition is linking curcumin to reducing oxidative stress after exercise, potentially providing relief to sore muscles.

The randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study, completed at the Olympic Training Centre in Barcelona, Spain, consisted of 20 male volunteers, all healthy and moderately active.

The non-placebo group took one gram of the curcumin delivery system Meriva twice a day, 48 hours before a downhill running test and 24 hours after the test over the course of four days. Following the running test, the subjects were asked to record the amount of muscle discomfort they felt on a scale of 0-4(0 representing no pain, 4 representing disabling pain.) In addition to the volunteer reports, muscle soreness and injury in the participants was gauged by magnetic resonance imaging, laboratory tests and histologic analysis on muscle samples obtained 48 hours after the test.

Both sets of results suggested that curcumin, specifically using the Meriva delivery system, could play a role in lessening delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) following exercise. The authors of the study also believe that these results could be of value with regard to histological evaluation of muscles, but larger studies would need to be conducted to reach any level of certainty.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2014