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J Inflamm Res. 2016 Aug 29;9:147-54. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S110873. eCollection 2016.

Curcumin prevents muscle damage by regulating NF-κB and Nrf2 pathways and improves performance: an in vivo model.

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Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Department of Movement and Training Science.
Department of Biology, Firat University, Elazig, Turkey.
OmniActive Health Technologies Inc., Morristown, NJ, USA.



Exercise (Ex) increases reactive oxygen species and impairs antioxidant defense systems. Recent data suggest that curcumin (CW) possesses peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma activity and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the effects of CW supplementation on Ex performance, endurance, and changes in serum and muscle proteins in rats after exhaustive Ex.


Twenty-eight (28) male Wistar rats (age: 8 weeks and body weight: 180±20 g) were divided into four treatment groups: 1) control (C; no Ex), 2) C + CW (no Ex + CW), 3) C + Ex, and 4) C + Ex + CW (Ex + CW). CW was administered as 100 mg/kg CurcuWin(®), providing 20 mg of curcuminoids daily for 6 weeks. A motor-driven rodent treadmill was used to carry out the Ex protocols. During a 5-day period, animals in chronic Ex groups were put through different regimens: day 1, 10 m/min for 10 minutes; day 2, 20 m/min for 10 minutes; day 3, 25 m/min for 10 minutes; day 4, 25 m/min for 20 minutes; and day 5, 25 m/min for 30 minutes. Animals were exercised at 25 m/min for 45 min/d for 5 d/wk for 6 weeks. Blood and muscle samples were analyzed for muscle markers, oxidative stress, and antioxidant markers.


Lactate and muscle malondialdehyde levels decreased in the CW-treated groups (P<0.0001). However, activities of antioxidant enzyme levels increased in the CW-treated groups. Run to exhaustion (minutes) improved in the CW-treated groups. Muscle nuclear factor-κB (P<0.05) and heat shock protein 70 (P<0.05) levels were much lowered in the CW treated group followed by Ex group. In addition, muscle inhibitors of kappa B, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha, thioredoxin-1, sirtuin 1, nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, and glucose transporter 4 protein levels in the Ex + CW group were higher than those in the control and Ex groups (P<0.05).


This study suggests that novel CW has the potential to help prevent muscle damage by regulating the nuclear factor-κB and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 pathways and improve the performance and nutritional values of CW.


NF-kB; Nrf2; curcumin; exercise; muscle; oxidative stress

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