High-intensity exercise can produce muscle damage. The resulting breakdown of muscle fibers and the triggered inflammatory responses could also affect exercise performance.

The researchers of the following study evaluated the effectiveness of curcumin supplementation on exercise induced muscle damage and inflammatory and oxidative markers in physically active individuals (Fernández-Lázaro D, et al., 2020).

11 studies which met the researcher’s criteria were included in this review.


The results showed that the use of curcumin reduced the subjective perception of the intensity of muscle pain; reduced muscle damage by decreasing creatine kinase, a marker of muscle damage; increased muscle performance and reduced the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8.

A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial lasting 28 days where the participants in the treatment group took 1500mg of curcumin per day, also found a reduction in creatine kinase and decreased muscle soreness (Basham SA, et al., 2020).

Curcumin is not well absorbed, so be sure you use form that has been documented to be better absorbed.



Basham SA, Waldman PhD HS, Krings PhD BM, Lamberth PhD J, Smith PhD JW, McAllister PhD MJ. Effect of Curcumin Supplementation on Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, Muscle Damage, and Muscle Soreness. J Diet Suppl. 2020;17(4):401-414.

Fernández-Lázaro D, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Seco Calvo J, Córdova Martínez A, Caballero García A, Fernandez-Lazaro CI. Modulation of Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage, Inflammation, and Oxidative Markers by Curcumin Supplementation in a Physically Active Population: A Systematic Review.Nutrients. 2020 Feb 15;12(2):501.


  • Category: News
  • Author: Didrik Sopler, Ph.D., L.Ac.
  • Published: 2021-08-13
  • Comments: 0
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