Curcumin supplementation may be of interest to endurance athletes. This is suggested by a Taiwanese animal study in which a relatively low dose of curcumin led to a big increase in the endurance capacity of lab mice.
Curcumin [structural formula shown below] has been the subject of heated interest from molecular nutritionists in recent years. That’s not surprising if you look at the long list of the benefits of curcumin: it inhibits muscle breakdown, enhances the positive effects of exercise on the blood vessels, boosts testosterone levels, inhibits estradiol, strengthen bones – and makes you, just like Superman, able to fly.
Okay, okay, maybe not fly, but the rest is true. Hence the interest in the animal study that researchers at the National Taiwan Sport University published in Nutrients.
The researchers gave male mice different doses of fluid curcumin for 28 days. The human equivalent of the lowest dose [CCM 1X] was 11-15 mg; the human equivalent of the highest dose was 55-75 mg.
Mice in a control group were given no curcumin.
After 28 days of supplementation the mice that had been given curcumin had developed more muscle strength in their claws than the mice in the control group. The higher the dose, the higher the muscle strength.
The increase in muscle strength may have been due to the anticatabolic effect of curcumin, the researchers suggest. Another possibility is that curcumin stimulates the development of the nerve pathways that the brain uses to send signals to the muscles. [Neurotox Res. 2006 Jan;9(1):29-37.]
When the researchers got the mice to run in a treadmill they observed that the animals that had been given curcumin could keep going for longer, as you can see in the figures above.
The researchers discovered that curcumin increased the concentration of glycogen in the muscles [see above], and reduced the concentration of ammonia [NH3], urea [BUN] and lactate in the blood [see below].
The researchers think that the curcumin supplementation enhanced the growth of small blood vessels, which provide the muscles with nutrients and oxygen. As a result metabolic processes improved and the mice’s endurance capacity increased.
The curcumin dose used was pretty low for a study of this kind. We wonder what kind of fluid the Taiwanese used. Was it a nano-application?
Effect of a Herbal-Leucine mix on the IL-1?-induced cartilage degradation and inflammatory gene expression in human chondrocytes.
Conventional treatments for the articular diseases are often effective for symptom relief, but can also cause significant side effects and do not slow the progression of the disease. Several natural substances have been shown to be effective at relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), and preliminary evidence suggests that some of these compounds may exert a favorable influence on the course of the disease. The objective of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory/chondroprotective potential of a Herbal and amino acid mixture containing extract of the Uncaria tomentosa, Boswellia spp., Lepidium meyenii and L-Leucine on the IL-1?-induced production of nitric oxide (NO), glycosaminoglycan (GAG), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), aggrecan (ACAN) and type II collagen (COL2A1) in human OA chondrocytes and OA cartilage explants.
Primary OA chondrocytes or OA cartilage explants were pretreated with Herbal-Leucine mixture (HLM, 1-10 ?g/ml) and then stimulated with IL-1? (5 ng/ml). Effect of HLM on IL-1?-induced gene expression of iNOS, MMP-9, MMP-13, ACAN and COL2A1 was verified by real time-PCR. Estimation of NO and GAG release in culture supernatant was done using commercially available kits.
HLM tested in these in vitro studies was found to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, as evidenced by strong inhibition of iNOS, MMP-9 and MMP-13 expression and NO production in IL-1?-stimulated OA chondrocytes (p < 0.05). Supporting these gene expression results, IL-1?-induced cartilage matrix breakdown, as evidenced by GAG release from cartilage explants, was also significantly blocked (p < 0.05). Moreover, in the presence of herbal-Leucine mixture (HLM) up-regulation of ACAN and COL2A1 expression in IL-1?-stimulated OA chondrocytes was also noted (p < 0.05). The inhibitory effects of HLM were mediated by inhibiting the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kB in human OA chondrocytes in presence of IL-1?. CONCLUSION: Our data suggests that HLM could be chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory agent in arthritis, switching chondrocyte gene expression from catabolic direction towards anabolic and regenerative, and consequently this approach may be potentially useful as a new adjunct therapeutic/preventive agent for OA or injury recovery. PMID: 21854562 PMCID: PMC3176482 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-11-66 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21854562