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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2018 Feb 1;124(2):330-340. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00515.2017. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Short-term dietary curcumin supplementation reduces gastrointestinal barrier damage and physiological strain responses during exertional heat stress.

Author information

1
Department of Exercise Science, High Point University , High Point, North Carolina.
2
Department of Kinesiology, California Baptist University , Riverside, California.

Abstract

Szymanski MC, Gillum TL, Gould LM, Morin DS, Kuennen MR. Short-term dietary curcumin supplementation reduces gastrointestinal barrier damage and physiological strain responses during exertional heat stress. J Appl Physiol 124: 330-340, 2018. First published September 21, 2017; doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00515.2017 .-This work investigated the effect of 3 days of 500 mg/day dietary curcumin supplementation on gastrointestinal barrier damage and systems-physiology responses to exertional heat stress in non-heat-acclimated humans. Eight participants ran (65% V̇o2max) for 60 min in a Darwin chamber (37°C/25% relative humidity) two times (Curcumin/Placebo). Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) and associated proinflammatory [monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6] and anti-inflammatory [interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), interleukin-10 (IL-10)] cytokines were assayed from plasma collected before (Pre), after (Post) and 1 (1-Post) and 4 (4-Post) h after exercise. Core temperature and HR were measured throughout exercise; the physiological strain index (PSI) was calculated from these variables. Condition differences were determined with 2-way (condition × time) repeated-measures ANOVAs. The interaction of condition × time was significant ( P = 0.05) for I-FABP and IL-1RA. Post hoc analysis indicated I-FABP increased more from Pre to Post (87%) and 1-Post (33%) in Placebo than in Curcumin (58 and 18%, respectively). IL-1RA increased more from Pre to 1-Post in Placebo (153%) than in Curcumin (77%). TNF-α increased ( P = 0.01) from Pre to Post (19%) and 1-Post (24%) in Placebo but not in Curcumin ( P > 0.05). IL-10 increased ( P < 0.01) from Pre to Post (61%) and 1-Post (42%) in Placebo not in Curcumin ( P > 0.05). The PSI, which indicates exertional heatstroke risk, was also lower ( P < 0.01) in Curcumin than Placebo from 40 to 60 min of exercise. These data suggest 3 days curcumin supplementation may improve gastrointestinal function, associated cytokines, and systems-level physiology responses during exertional heat stress. This could help reduce exertional heatstroke risk in non-heat-acclimated individuals. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Exercise-heat stress increases gastrointestinal barrier damage and risk of exertional heatstroke. Over the past decade at least eight different dietary supplements have been tested for potential improvements in gastrointestinal barrier function and systems-level physiology responses during exercise-heat stress. None have been shown to protect against both insults simultaneously. In this report 3 days of 500 mg/day dietary curcumin supplementation are shown to improve gastrointestinal barrier function, associated cytokine responses, and systems-level physiology parameters. Further research is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

dietary supplements; exercise; gastrointestinal barrier permeability; hyperthermia; inflammation

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