Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Research appearing in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2014 Jun 18; 11:31) looked at the effect curcumin supplementation, using a phytosome delivery system had on delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise. The subjects of the study were 20 healthy adults. They were randomly selected to receive either 200 mg. of curcumin or a placebo twice each day. All of the subjects were given a downhill running test. Supplementation (curcumin or the placebo) was given 48 hours prior to the test and for 24 hours after the test.

The group receiving the curcumin reported less leg pain than those in the control group. MRI evidence of muscle damage to the posterior and medial compartments of the thighs was present in fewer of the subjects taking the curcumin than in the placebo group. Increases in markers of muscle damage and inflammation tended to be lower in the curcumin group.

The authors conclude that “curcumin has the potential for preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness as suggested by its effects on pain intensity and muscle injury. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results and further clarify the mechanism of action of curcumin.”

The phytosome delivery system addresses the poor absorption of curcumin. Curcumin is not very soluble in water and is poorly absorbed under normal circumstances. A study that was published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2013 May 1;448(1):168-74. doi: 10.1016) looked at a delivery system by encapsulating curcumin-phytosomes (Cur-PSs) in chitosan microspheres using ionotropic gelation. This resulted in promoting oral absorption and prolonging retention time of curcumin. In short, the process improves digestion and absorption of curcumin.