This study aimed to compare TurmXTRA® 60N (WDTE60N) to a placebo for efficacy, safety, and tolerability in recreationally active healthy subjects suffering from DOMS.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs when the muscles are injured due to excessive eccentric contractions or unaccustomed exercise practices. Some altered biomechanics can also be seen at adjacent joints, along with diminished muscular force capacities, muscle stiffness, and muscular tenderness.

Exercise-induced muscle soreness usually begins within six to twelve hours, peaks within 48 to 72 hours, and gradually resolves over the next five to seven days; however, it contributes to sports performance compromises. Recovery is crucial, as it allows athletes to return to exercise sooner and improves adaptations and performance in subsequent workouts.

The use of several dietary supplements can increase muscular adaptations to exercise, improve mental performance, decrease DOMS, reduce injury severity, and enhance recovery from injuries. Interestingly, these nutritional supplements do not produce ergogenic effects but assist athletes in training and competing more effectively without affecting their performance.

A free radical scavenger, curcumin is hypothesized to reduce secondary muscle damage after exercise. The International Olympic Committee consensus classifies curcumin as a nutritional supplement that may improve training capacity, recovery, muscle soreness, and injury management based on its proven benefits. 

Curcumin’s poor oral bioavailability is one of the factors preventing its widespread use. However, this can be overcome by administering high doses (approximately 6–8 g) of turmeric powder or 1500–2000 mg of turmeric extract standardized to 95% for optimal results. 

Curcumin is not recommended for long-term administration due to the possibility of gastrointestinal side effects (intestinal disturbances and urticaria) and poor compliance with curcumin.

In a preclinical pharmacokinetic study involving Sprague Dawley rats, the bioavailability of WDTE60N was ten times higher than that of standard turmeric extract 95%. A comparative pharmacokinetic study assessed the pharmacokinetics of WDTE60N versus standard turmeric extract 95% in healthy subjects. 

The results of this study indicate that WDTE60N’s water dispersibility facilitates the absorption of active moieties, which resulted in higher levels of plasma-free curcumin, total curcumin, and total curcuminoids compared to standard turmeric extract of 95% when subjects were given WDTE60N with ten times fewer curcuminoids.

What Did The Study Reveal?

The study included 30 healthy and recreationally active subjects randomly assigned to receive WDTE60N or placebo (placebo group; n = 15). During the investigation, treatments were initiated 29 days before eccentric exercise and continued for four days afterward.

The primary endpoint was the change in pain intensity at 96 hours after eccentric exercise from baseline (measured immediately after exercise) measured by the visual analog scale (VAS).

Subjects in the WDTE60N group reported significantly less pain after eccentric exercise than those in the placebo group.

The experts used a modified version of the Hooper and MacKinnon questionnaire to assess well-being. It was calculated using individual scores and cumulative scores of the domains (fatigue, mood, general muscle soreness, sleep quality, and stress). It showed improvements in all fields and overall well-being in the WDTE60N group over the placebo.

The WDTE60N group had a significantly lower serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level than the placebo group.

To conclude, recreationally active subjects who consumed WDTE60N before and after eccentric exercise reported reduced subjective perception of muscle soreness, lower serum LDH activity, and improved psychological well-being.

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