Research - Muscle / Tendon Injuries
Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on an acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males
Levers K1, Dalton R1, Galvan E1, Goodenough C1, O'Connor A1, Simbo S1, Barringer N2, Mertens-Talcott SU3, Rasmussen C1, Greenwood M1, Riechman S4, Crouse S5, Kreider RB1.
BACKGROUND:The purpose of this study was to examine whether short-term ingestion of a powdered tart cherry supplement prior to and following intense resistance-exercise attenuates muscle soreness and recovery strength loss, while reducing markers of muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
METHODS:Twenty-three healthy, resistance-trained men (20.9 ± 2.6 yr, 14.2 ± 5.4% body fat, 63.9 ± 8.6 kg FFM) were matched based on relative maximal back squat strength, age, body weight, and fat free mass. Subjects were randomly assigned to ingest, in a double blind manner, capsules containing a placebo (P, n = 12) or powdered tart cherries [CherryPURE(®)] (TC, n = 11). Participants supplemented one time daily (480 mg/d) for 10-d including day of exercise up to 48-h post-exercise. Subjects performed ten sets of ten repetitions at 70% of a 1-RM back squat exercise. Fasting blood samples, isokinetic MVCs, and quadriceps muscle soreness ratings were taken pre-lift, 60-min, 24-h, and 48-h post-lift and analyzed by MANOVA with repeated measures.
RESULTS:Muscle soreness perception in the vastus medialis (¼) (p = 0.10) and the vastus lateralis (¼) (p = 0.024) was lower in TC over time compared to P. Compared to pre-lift, TC vastus medialis (¼) soreness was significantly attenuated up to 48-h post-lift with vastus lateralis (¼) soreness significantly lower at 24-h post-lift compared to P. TC changes in serum creatinine (p = 0.03, delta p = 0.024) and total protein (p = 0.018, delta p = 0.006) were lower over time and smaller from pre-lift levels over time compared to P Significant TC group reductions from pre-lift levels were found for AST and creatinine 48-h post-lift, bilirubin and ALT 60-min and 48-h post-lift. No significant supplementation effects were observed for serum inflammatory or anti-inflammatory markers. None of the free radical production, lipid peroxidation, or antioxidant capacity markers (NT, TBARS, TAS, SOD) demonstrated significant changes with supplementation. Changes in TC whole blood lymphocyte counts (p = 0.013) from pre-lift were greater compared to P, but TC lymphocyte counts returned to pre-lift values quicker than P.
CONCLUSION:Short-term supplementation of Montmorency powdered tart cherries surrounding a single bout of resistance exercise, appears to be an effective dietary supplement to attenuate muscle soreness, strength decrement during recovery, and markers of muscle catabolism in resistance trained individuals.
Source J Int Soc Sports Nutr.
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Ashwagandha Improves Muscle Strength and Recovery in Men Performing Resistance Training
Wankhede S, Langade D, Joshi K, Sinha SR, Bhattacharyya S. Examining the effect of Withania somniferasupplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. November 25, 2015;12:43. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Solanaceae) root is an adaptogen, helping the body adapt to stress. Although it has been shown to have a wide range of beneficial effects, studies of ashwagandha as an ergogenic aid are lacking. The authors hypothesize that ashwagandha supplementation may enhance the physiological adaptation of the body in response to the stress of weight resistance training. Hence, the purpose of this 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha on healthy men performing resistance training.
Healthy men (n = 57, aged 18-50 years) with little experience in resistance training were recruited at a gymnasium in Kolkata, India. Subjects were excluded if they were taking any medication or steroids to enhance physical performance; had weight loss of > 5 kg in the previous 3 months; had history of drug abuse, smoking > 10 cigarettes day, or consuming > 14 grams of alcohol/day; were hypersensitive to ashwagandha; had orthopedic injury or surgery within the previous 6 months; had participated in other clinical studies during the previous 3 months; or had any other condition which the investigators judged problematic. Subjects were instructed not to take anti-inflammatory agents, drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum, Solanaceae) during the study.
Subjects received either placebo (starch) or 600 mg/day ashwagandha root extract (KSM-66®; Ixoreal Biomed; Los Angeles, California) for 8 weeks. The extract was produced using a water-based process and was standardized to contain 5% withanolides. During the 8-week study period, subjects participated in a structured resistance training program based on the publications of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); Colorado Springs, Colorado. Subjects trained every other day (3x/week), exercising the major muscle groups in both the upper body and lower body. During the first 2-week acclimatization phase, each exercise set consisted of 15 repetitions at a lower load to allow the subject's body and neurological system to adjust to the training. The subsequent 6 weeks of training consisted of varying numbers of higher-load repetitions.
The primary endpoints were upper body and lower body muscle strength. The secondary endpoints were muscle size, muscle recovery, serum testosterone level, and body fat percentage. Muscle size was measured at the arm, chest, and upper thigh. Creatine kinase levels were assessed as a measure of muscle recovery (reduction in exercise-induced muscle damage over time). Assessments were made 1-2 days after the first day of training, and 2 days after the end of the 8-week training period.
As expected, the resistance training resulted in improvements in all of the measured parameters in both groups. However, the ashwagandha group had a significantly greater increase in upper body (P = 0.001) and lower body (P = 0.04) strength compared with placebo; it also had significantly better muscle recovery (P = 0.03). Compared with placebo, the ashwagandha group had a significantly greater increase in the muscle size of the arm (P = 0.01) and chest (P < 0.001), but there was no significant difference in the size of the upper thigh. The ashwagandha group had a significantly greater increase in serum testosterone (P = 0.004) and a significantly greater decrease in body fat percentage (P = 0.03), compared to placebo. Ashwagandha was well tolerated, and there were no serious adverse effects.
The focal question of this study was whether ashwagandha supplementation would increase the adaptations to resistance training. At a P value of 0.05, the adaptations as measured by muscle strength, muscle size, testosterone level, and body fat percentage were found to be significantly greater with ashwagandha compared to placebo. The authors conclude that "ashwagandha supplementation is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength and suggests that ashwagandha supplementation may be useful in conjunction with a resistance training program." Acknowledged limitations were that only untrained subjects ≤ 50 years were included, the relatively small sample size, and short duration of the study. The authors recommend further studies evaluate the potential benefit of ashwagandha over longer periods of time and for different populations, including females and older adults of both genders.
—Heather S. Oliff, PhD
Source : American Botanical Council - Herbclip
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Keeping older muscles strong
University of Iowa scientists discover cause of and potential treatment for muscle weakness and loss due to aging
As we grow older, we lose strength and muscle mass. However, the cause of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy has remained a mystery.
Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered the first example of a protein that causes muscle weakness and loss during aging. The protein, ATF4, is a transcription factor that alters gene expression in skeletal muscle, causing reduction of muscle protein synthesis, strength, and mass. The UI study also identifies two natural compounds, one found in apples and one found in green tomatoes, which reduce ATF4 activity in aged skeletal muscle. The findings, which were published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to new therapies for age-related muscle weakness and atrophy.
"Many of us know from our own experiences that muscle weakness and atrophy are big problems as we become older," says Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine in the UI Carver College of Medicine, and senior study author. "These problems have a major impact on our quality of life and health."
Previously, Adams and his team had identified ursolic acid, which is found in apple peel, and tomatidine, which comes from green tomatoes, as small molecules that can prevent acute muscle wasting caused by starvation and inactivity. Those studies set the stage for testing whether ursolic acid and tomatidine might be effective in blocking the largest cause of muscle weakness and atrophy: aging.
In their latest study, Adams' team found that ursolic acid and tomatidine dramatically reduce age-related muscle weakness and atrophy in mice. Elderly mice with age-related muscle weakness and atrophy were fed diets lacking or containing either 0.27 percent ursolic acid, or 0.05 percent tomatidine for two months. The scientists found that both compounds increased muscle mass by 10 percent, and more importantly, increased muscle quality, or strength, by 30 percent. The sizes of these effects suggest that the compounds largely restored muscle mass and strength to young adult levels.
"Based on these results, ursolic acid and tomatidine appear to have a lot of potential as tools for dealing with muscle weakness and atrophy during aging," Adams says. "We also thought we might be able to use ursolic acid and tomatidine as tools to find a root cause of muscle weakness and atrophy during aging."
Adams' team investigated the molecular effects of ursolic acid and tomatidine in aged skeletal muscle. They found that both compounds turn off a group of genes that are turned on by the transcription factor ATF4. This led them to engineer and study a new strain of mice that lack ATF4 in skeletal muscle. Like old muscles that were treated with ursolic acid and tomatidine, old muscles lacking ATF4 were resistant to the effects of aging.
"By reducing ATF4 activity, ursolic acid and tomatidine allow skeletal muscle to recover from effects of aging," says Adams, who also is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center and the Pappajohn Biomedical Institute, and is a staff physician with the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Source : University of Iowa
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Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
IntroductionOral curcumin decreases inflammatory cytokines and increases muscle regeneration in mice.
PurposeTo determine effects of curcumin on muscle damage, inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in humans.
MethodSeventeen men completed a double-blind randomized-controlled crossover trial to estimate the effects of oral curcumin supplementation (2.5 g twice daily) versus placebo on single-leg jump performance and DOMS following unaccustomed heavy eccentric exercise. Curcumin or placebo was taken 2 d before to 3 d after eccentric single-leg press exercise, separated by 14-d washout. Measurements were made at baseline, and 0, 24 and 48-h post-exercise comprising: (a) limb pain (1–10 cm visual analogue scale; VAS), (b) muscle swelling, (c) single-leg jump height, and (d) serum markers of muscle damage and inflammation. Standardized magnitude-based inference was used to define outcomes.
ResultsAt 24 and 48-h post-exercise, curcumin caused moderate-large reductions in pain during single-leg squat (VAS scale −1.4 to −1.7; 90 %CL: ±1.0), gluteal stretch (−1.0 to −1.9; ±0.9), squat jump (−1.5 to −1.1; ± 1.2) and small reductions in creatine kinase activity (−22–29 %; ±21–22 %). Associated with the pain reduction was a small increase in single-leg jump performance (15 %; 90 %CL ± 12 %). Curcumin increased interleukin-6 concentrations at 0-h (31 %; ±29 %) and 48-h (32 %; ±29 %) relative to baseline, but decreased IL-6 at 24-h relative to post-exercise (−20 %; ±18 %).
ConclusionsOral curcumin likely reduces pain associated with DOMS with some evidence for enhanced recovery of muscle performance. Further study is required on mechanisms and translational effects on sport or vocational performance.
Source : EU Journal of Applied Physiology
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Vitamin D deficiency down-regulates Notch pathway contributing to skeletal muscle atrophy in old wistar rats
Carla Domingues-Faria124, Audrey Chanet24, Jérôme Salles24, Alexandre Berry24, Christophe Giraudet24, Véronique Patrac24, Philippe Denis34, Katia Bouton24, Nicolas Goncalves-Mendes1, Marie-Paule Vasson15, Yves Boirie26 and Stéphane Walrand
The diminished ability of aged muscle to self-repair is a factor behind sarcopenia and contributes to muscle atrophy. Muscle repair depends on satellite cells whose pool size is diminished with aging. A reduction in Notch pathway activity may explain the age-related decrease in satellite cell proliferation, as this pathway has been implicated in satellite cell self-renewal. Skeletal muscle is a target of vitamin D which modulates muscle cell proliferation and differentiation in vitro and stimulates muscle regeneration in vivo. Vitamin D status is positively correlated to muscle strength/function, and elderly populations develop a vitamin D deficiency. The aim of this study was to evaluate how vitamin D deficiency induces skeletal muscle atrophy in old rats through a reduction in Notch pathway activity and proliferation potential in muscle.
15-month-old male rats were vitamin D-depleted or not (control) for 9 months (n = 10 per group). Rats were 24-month-old at the end of the experiment. Gene and/or protein expression of markers of proliferation, or modulating proliferation, and of Notch signalling pathway were studied in the tibialis anterior muscle by qPCR and western blot. An unpaired student’s t-test was performed to test the effect of the experimental conditions.
Vitamin D depletion led to a drop in concentrations of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D in depleted rats compared to controls (-74%, p < 0.01). Tibialis anterior weight was decreased in D-depleted rats (-25%, p < 0.05). The D-depleted group showed -39%, -31% drops in expression of two markers known to modulate proliferation (Bmp4, Fgf-2 mRNA levels) and -56% drop in one marker of cell proliferation (PCNA protein expression) compared to controls (p < 0.05). Notch pathway activity was blunted in tibialis anterior of D-depleted rats compared to controls, seen as a down-regulation of cleaved Notch (-53%, p < 0.05) and its target Hes1 (-35%, p < 0.05).
A 9-month vitamin D depletion induced vitamin D deficiency in old rats. Vitamin D depletion induces skeletal muscle atrophy in old rats through a reduction in Notch pathway activity and proliferation potential. Vitamin D deficiency could aggravate the age-related decrease in muscle regeneration capacity.
Source : Journal Nutrition and Metabolism
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Alleviating exercise induced muscular stress using neat and processed bee pollen: oxidative markers, mitochondrial enzymes and myostatin expression in rats
- Sameer Ketkara,
- Atul Rathorea,
- Amit Kandharea,
- Sathiyanarayanan Lohidasana,
- Subhash Bodhankara,
- Anant Paradkarb, , ,
- Kakasaheb Mahadika,
BackgroundHoneybee collected pollen, traditionally known rich source of antioxidant principles is claimed to be useful food for sportsmen and athletes, however very few scientific evidences are available for same. Current study was designed to investigate influence of monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen (MIMBP) and processed monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen (PMIMBP) supplementation on chronic swimming exercise induced oxidative stress implications in gastrocnemius muscle of Wistar rats.
MIMBP was processed with edible lipid-surfactant mixture (Captex355:Tween80) to increase the extraction of polyphenols and flavonoid aglycones as analyzed by UV spectroscopy and HPLC-PDA. Wistar rats in different groups were fed with MIMBP or PMIMBP supplements at a dose of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg individually when subjected to chronic swimming exercise for 4 weeks (5 days/week). Various biochemical (SOD, GSH, MDA, NO, total protein content), mitochondrial (complex I, II, III, IV enzyme activity) and molecular (myostatin mRNA expression) parameters were monitored in gastrocnemius muscle of all the groups.
Administration of both MIMBP (300 mg/kg) and PMIMBP (100,200,300 mg/kg) exerted antioxidant effect by significantly improving SOD, GSH, MDA, NO and total protein levels. Further MIMBP (300 mg/kg) and PMIMBP (200,300 mg/kg) significantly improved the impaired mitochondrial complex I, II, III, IV enzyme activity. Significant down-regulation of myostatin mRNA expression by MIMBP (300 mg/kg) and PMIMBP (200,300 mg/kg) indicates their muscle protectant role in oxidative stress conditions.
The study establishes antioxidant, mitochondrial up-regulatory and myostatin inhibitory effect of both MIMBP and PMIMBP in exercise induced oxidative stress conditions, suggesting their usefulness in effective management of exercise induced muscular stress. Further, processing of MIMBP with edible lipid-surfactant mixture was found to improve the therapeutic efficiency of pollen.
Source : Integrative Medicine Research
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The power of the mind: the cortex as a critical determinant of muscle strength/weakness
Brian C. Clark , Niladri K. Mahato , Masato Nakazawa , Timothy D. Law , James S. Thomas
We tested the hypothesis that the nervous system, and the cortex in particular, is a critical determinant of muscle strength/weakness and that a high level of corticospinal inhibition is an important neurophysiological factor regulating force generation. A group of healthy individuals underwent 4 wk of wrist-hand immobilization to induce weakness. Another group also underwent 4 wk of immobilization, but they also performed mental imagery of strong muscle contractions 5 days/wk. Mental imagery has been shown to activate several cortical areas that are involved with actual motor behaviors, including premotor and M1 regions. A control group, who underwent no interventions, also participated in this study. Before, immediately after, and 1 wk following immobilization, we measured wrist flexor strength, voluntary activation (VA), and the cortical silent period (SP; a measure that reflect corticospinal inhibition quantified via transcranial magnetic stimulation). Immobilization decreased strength 45.1 ± 5.0%, impaired VA 23.2 ± 5.8%, and prolonged the SP 13.5 ± 2.6%. Mental imagery training, however, attenuated the loss of strength and VA by ∼50% (23.8 ± 5.6% and 12.9 ± 3.2% reductions, respectively) and eliminated prolongation of the SP (4.8 ± 2.8% reduction). Significant associations were observed between the changes in muscle strength and VA (r = 0.56) and SP (r = −0.39). These findings suggest neurological mechanisms, most likely at the cortical level, contribute significantly to disuse-induced weakness, and that regular activation of the cortical regions via imagery attenuates weakness and VA by maintaining normal levels of inhibition.
Source : Journal of Neurophysiology
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Go-sha-jinki-Gan (GJG), a traditional Japanese herbal medicine, protects against sarcopenia in senescence-accelerated mice
- Yuki Kishidaa,
- Syota Kagawaa,
- Junsuke Arimitsua,
- Miho Nakanishia,
- Noriko Sakashitaa,
- Shizue Otsukaa,
- Hideki Yoshikawab,
- Keisuke Hagiharaa
Sarcopenia is characterized by age-associated skeletal muscle atrophy and reduced muscle strength; currently, no pharmaceutical treatment is available. Go-sha-jinki-Gan (GJG) is a traditional Japanese herbal medicine that is used to alleviate various age-related symptoms, especially motor disorders. Here, we investigated the effect of GJG on aging-associated skeletal muscle atrophy by using senescence-accelerated mice (SAMP8). Immunohistochemical and western blotting analyses clearly showed that GJG significantly reduced the loss of skeletal muscle mass and ameliorated the increase in slow skeletal muscle fibers in SAMP8 mice compared to control mice. The expression levels of Akt and GSK-3β, the phosphorylation of FoxO4, and the phosphorylations of AMPK and mitochondrial-related transcription factors such as PGC-1α were suppressed, while the expression of MuRF1 increased in SAMP8 mice, but approximated that in senescence-accelerated aging-resistant (SAMR1) mice after GJG treatment. We demonstrate for the first time that GJG has a therapeutic effect against sarcopenia.
Source : Phytomedicine Journal
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Protective Effect of Curcuma Longa Rhizomes against Physical Stress-induced Perturbations in Rats
M. Bhanumathy, H. N. Shivaprasad, L. V. G. Nargund
Curcuma longa (Turmeric) is a bright yellow ancient spice native to Asian countries. It has been used as traditional remedy dating back to 600 BC. Turmeric is well known for its applications as a cosmetic, condiment and flavoring agent. The present study was an attempt to explore the protective effect of Curcuma longa rhizomes against physical stress-induced perturbations in rats. Animals were pre-treated with extracts of C. longa rhizomes (crystallized ethylacetate extract; and byproduct-oleoresin) at doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg for 21 days. The effect on swimming endurance followed by post-swimming muscle co-ordination and spontaneous motor activity was evaluated. Estimation of brain monoamine levels in rats and HPLC analysis were carried out. Pre-treated rats with C. longa extracts showed dose dependant significant enhancement in swimming endurance time, increased the duration (sec) of stay on rota-rod apparatus and increased the count (actophotometer score) in spontaneous motor activity. In addition, the pre-treated rats were found to possess normalizing activity against physical stress induced changes in norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Curcuminoids was identified by HPLC analysis and it was one of the active principles responsible for the adaptogenic activity. Extracts of C. longa rhizomes exhibited adaptogenic activity against physical stress model followed by post-swimming muscle co-ordination and spontaneous motor activity, which could be due to the presence of curcuminoids content. In conclusion, the results of the present investigation emphasized the protective effect of C. longa rhizomes against physical stress-induced perturbations in rats.
Source : Journal of Natural Remedies
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Curcumin Formulation Reduces Delayed Muscle Soreness after Eccentric Exercise
Drobnic F, Riera J, Appendino G, et al. Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. June 18, 2014;11:31. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-11-31.
Eccentric exercise refers to forced muscle elongation during muscle contraction. This form of exercise may lead to mild muscle damage and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and subsequent inflammation. Curcumin, a compound isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) root, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity1 by attenuating the modulators of inflammation, including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-ĸB) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)2,3; curcumin has also been reported to activate endogenous antioxidant response modulator nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2).4 This randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind trial investigated the potential of curcumin product Meriva® (Indena S.p.A.; Milan, Italy), formulated with soy (Glycine max) lecithin to enhance bioavailability, to alleviate muscle injury, ROS damage, and inflammation due to eccentric exercise.
This study enrolled 20 healthy men that engaged in aerobic exercise for 4 hours per week or more. Included subjects did not smoke, had no diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and had a maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) of 35 ml/kg or greater during a treadmill exercise test. Those taking anti-inflammatory, analgesic, or antioxidant medications in the past month; with liver or kidney problems; or with current inflammation or disease were excluded. Subjects were randomly assigned to either 1 g of Meriva 2 times per day at breakfast and dinner, for a total curcumin dosage of 400 mg daily, or placebo. Meriva contains curcumin (20%), soy lecithin in a 1:2 weight ratio, and 2 parts of microcrystalline cellulose. Contents of the placebo were not described. Treatments were given 48 hours before downhill-run testing and continued for 24 hours following the testing for a total of 4 days.
Subjects underwent a baseline treadmill exercise test at a 3% grade starting at 6 km/h, raised by 1 km/h per minute until either VO2max was steady or began to decrease, or muscle fatigue occurred. VO2max, maximum speed (Spdmax), and speed at anaerobic threshold (Spdat) was determined. After 2 days of curcumin, to induce eccentric muscle injury, a downhill running test was conducted, consisting of a 10-minute warm-up and a downhill run at constant speed on a treadmill at -10% for 45 minutes. At 7 and 5 days before the curcumin intake began, subjects had conducted 10-minute exercise regimes to practice the study protocol and ensure a consistent baseline of muscle tone. Additionally, subjects were given a "nutritional supplement" of 25-30 g of carbohydrates and 2-4 g of protein 1 hour before the downhill running test. Subjects were given access to water ad lib during the downhill running test after consuming 500 ml of mineral water 30 minutes before the test began.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to gauge thigh muscle damage, and muscle biopsies were taken 48 hours after the downhill running test to assess for muscle myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, albumin, and cluster of differentiation 3 (CD3) positive cells using immunohistochemistry (all markers of muscle injury or inflammation). A week before the test, blood cell and blood chemistry parameters had been assessed. Blood was also taken right before the downhill running test, and 2 and 24 hours after the test, to measure markers of both oxidative stress and inflammation. Pain was also measured 48 hours after the test by a scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 4 (disabling pain) while climbing up or down stairs.
Of the 20 subjects enrolled, 1 subject randomly assigned to the Meriva group dropped out for personal reasons prior to the test, leaving 9 subjects in the Meriva group. Between the placebo and Meriva groups, no significant differences were noted in Spdmax (13.7 ± 1.8 km/h vs. 14.8 ± 1.1 km/h) or downhill running speed (10.9 ± 1.2 km/h vs. 11.4 ± 0.9 km/h). According to the MRI measurements, a significantly less percentage of subjects had muscle damage in the Meriva group as compared to the placebo group in the posterior (44.4% vs. 90%, P=0.0329) or medial (33.3% vs. 80%, P=0.0397) areas of the right thigh. Results were similar in the left thigh (33.3% vs. 80%, P=0.0397, and 33.3% vs. 90%, P=0.0106, respectively).
Overall, the difference in pain experienced by the Meriva group as compared to the placebo group approached significance (23.3 ± 7.9 vs. 30.6 ± 7.9, P=0.06). When analyzing the anterior thigh area, both right and left comparisons showed significantly less pain in the Meriva group (right=4.4 ± 2.5 vs. 7.8 ± 3.9, left=4.4 ± 2.4 vs. 8.2 ± 4.6, P<0.05 for both). Also, at the 2-hour post-exercise test, interleukin-8 (IL-8, a marker of inflammation) was significantly lower in the Meriva group as compared to the control (196.8 ± 66.1 pg/ml vs. 274.7 ± 70.7 pg/ml, P<0.05). Markers of oxidant stress were not significantly different between groups at any time. Muscle biopsy endpoints (n=4 from the Meriva group, and n=5 from the placebo group) were not significantly different between groups.
This study showed a significant reduction in muscle damage, pain in certain areas, and IL-8 concentrations associated with Meriva consumption during eccentric exercise, pointing to its potential use in preventing DOMS. No effect was noted on markers of oxidative stress; this suggests that curcumin likely attenuates inflammation as opposed to oxidant damage. The authors mention that curcumin may activate endogenous antioxidant regulatory cellular mechanisms and may also act as an analgesic. Limitations of this study include the short duration, single type of aerobic exercise employed, the overall small amount of oxidative damage, and the limited amount of biopsy samples. Ideally, future studies will focus on specific mechanism of action during use with exercise.
—Amy C. Keller, PhD
Source : American Botanical Council - Herbal Gram
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Higher Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations Associate with a Faster Recovery of Skeletal Muscle Strength after Muscular Injury
Tyler Barker 1,* , Vanessa T. Henriksen 1, Thomas B. Martins 2, Harry R. Hill 2,3, Carl R. Kjeldsberg 2,3, Erik D. Schneider 4, Brian M. Dixon 4 and Lindell K. Weaver 5
The primary purpose of this study was to identify if serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations predict muscular weakness after intense exercise. We hypothesized that pre-exercise serum 25(OH)D concentrations inversely predict exercise-induced muscular weakness. Fourteen recreationally active adults participated in this study. Each subject had one leg randomly assigned as a control. The other leg performed an intense exercise protocol. Single-leg peak isometric force and blood 25(OH)D, aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, albumin, interferon (IFN)-γ, and interleukin-4 were measured prior to and following intense exercise. Following exercise, serum 25(OH)D concentrations increased (p < 0.05) immediately, but within minutes, subsequently decreased (p < 0.05). Circulating albumin increases predicted (p < 0.005) serum 25(OH)D increases, while IFN-γ increases predicted (p < 0.001) serum 25(OH)D decreases. Muscular weakness persisted within the exercise leg (p < 0.05) and compared to the control leg (p < 0.05) after the exercise protocol. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations inversely predicted (p < 0.05) muscular weakness (i.e., control leg vs. exercise leg peak isometric force) immediately and days (i.e., 48-h and 72-h) after exercise, suggesting the attenuation of exercise-induced muscular weakness with increasing serum 25(OH)D prior to exercise. Based on these data, we conclude that pre-exercise serum 25(OH)D concentrations could influence the recovery of skeletal muscle strength after an acute bout of intense exercise
Source : Nutrients
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Homeopathic Remedy Good as Drug for Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries that can happen to athletes and non-athletes alike, and they also can be quite uncomfortable or painful. How should you treat them? A recent head-to-head study indicates that a homeopathic remedy (Traumeel®) is just as effective as a conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID; diclofenac sodium) in relieving pain and improving function.
How do a homeopathic remedy and drug compare? About 25,000 people per day experience a sprained ankle in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Some of these are sports injuries, but many are also the result of stepping off a curb the wrong way, tripping over objects, or stumbling around on high-heeled shoes.
A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments in the ankle, which hold the joint and ankle bones in position, are stretched beyond their normal range. If the ligaments are stretched too far, the ligaments can tear.
In most cases, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen), along with ice and rest, are sufficient to treat the pain and inflammation associated with a sprained ankle. The prescription drug diclofenac sodium (Cataflam, Voltaren) also is sometimes used.
But what about a homeopathic remedy? In a large scale clinical trial, the Traumeel Acute Ankle Sprain Spain (TAASS) Study, investigators compared the use of the homeopathic remedy known as Traumeel (both ointment and gel) with diclofenac gel 1% in 449 individuals who experienced ankle sprain.
The participants were randomly assigned to be treated with either 2 grams of Traumeel ointment (152 individuals), Traumeel gel (150), or diclofenac gel (147) three times daily for 14 days. All the participants were then followed up for six weeks.
The participants reported their levels of pain relief, which were as follows:
- After seven days, declines in the standard pain scale (Visual Analogue Scale, or VAS) were 60.6% in the Traumeel gel group, 71.1% in the Traumeel gel group, and 68.9% in the diclofenac gel group.
- After seven days, total pain relief was reported by 8.5%, 5.0%, and 5.9%, respectively, of the patients
- By day 14, all three groups also showed similar scores on the Foot and Ankle Ability Measurement (FAAM) scale
- At six weeks, all the participants reported total pain relief and normal function of the ankle. The median time to reach normal ankle function was 19.09 19.35, and 19.39 days, respectively.
What is Traumeel?
Traumeel is a combination homeopathic remedy that consists of 14 different active ingredients with properties that address multiple factors in the inflammatory cascade. Unlike classical homeopathy, in which a single-ingredient remedy is chosen for an individual based on that person's makeup (constitution), symptoms, and other factors, combination homeopathic remedies contain two or more active homeopathic ingredients designed to treat a specific ailment.
In the case of Traumeel, the indication for its use is relief of minor joint and muscular pain, such as ankle sprains. Its active ingredients can help reduce pain associated with injury or bruising, stimulate the healing process, provide immune system support, relieve joint pain, and treat minor bleeding, depending on the ingredient.
In a previous study, reported in 2008, German physicians examined use of Traumeel (69 patients) and conventional treatment (67 patients) who had various musculoskeletal injuries, including sprains, strains, and contusions of the ankles, knees, and hands.
Pain and inflammation were completely resolved at the end of treatment in 41 (59.4%) of patients treated with Traumeel compared with 37 (57.8%) of those treated conventionally. No patients in the Traumeel group reported side effects, while there were six adverse events in the conventionally treated group.
The authors of the study noted that "Traumeel was safe in use and judged by physicians to be better tolerated than conventional medicines."
In the TAASS, the authors showed that Traumeel and diclofenac were essentially equally effective in relieving symptoms of a sprained ankle. Traumeel is an over-the-counter homeopathic drug that can be considered as an effective alternative to prescription diclofenac for minor joint and muscular pain.
Source : EMax Health via
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
De Vega CG et al. A randomized, controlled, multicenter study on the effectiveness of Traumeel (ointment and gel) in terms of pain reduction and function improvement compared with diclofenac gel in acute ankle sprain. Selected abstract from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 2012 Jun; 71(suppl III; SAT0423)
Schneider C et al. The role of a homeopathic preparation compared with conventional therapy in the treatment of injuries: an observational cohort study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2008 Feb; 16(1): 22-27
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