The number of individuals suffering from disturbed sleep is on the rise. Studies have shown that individuals who chronically get less than six hours of sleep are at a higher risk for developing certain diseases, are less able to deal with the effects of daily stress, and are more prone to weight gain2. The severity of sleep disturbance can vary depending on the root cause, but common symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep for periods of time, or very early awakening3. Sleep is regulated by the body’s internal clock, which keeps track of light levels. There are two
Curcumin is widely used and well recognized as a highly valued component of the turmeric root. Used extensively in India for cooking and medicinal purposes, it boasts many health promoting chemicals and has been the subject of intense research over the last few years for a variety of health benefits.1 The health promoting properties of curcumin have been further investigated to determine how they affect exercise performance. Curcumin is not only a potent antioxidant that helps to protect cells when they are under stress, but it also has the ability to protect and strengthen the cardiovascular system and to boost exercise performance, specifically by improving endothelial function and improving muscle recovery time.2,3
What Happens to the Body During Intense Exercise
Exercise can provide several health benefits to the body, but it can also cause stress to the cells comprising muscle and other tissues. The muscles that allow one to move, and the muscle tissue that allows the heart to pump blood through the body are all vulnerable to damage from various sources, one being exercise. However, we also know that exercise is vital for these tissues in order to strengthen them and to allow them to continue to perform their intended functions. Therefore, regular cardiovascular exercise is important and beneficial overall.
As the heart rate increases during exercise, the level of oxygen in the blood is improved and natural painkillers called endorphins are increased in the body. However, if the body is
Improving Vascular Endothelial Function with Curcumin
Vascular endothelial function,
A new study from the University of Tsukuba investigated the effects of curcumin in 32 post-menopausal
Reducing Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress
reducing the number of reactions that occur in the body as a result of the digestive process. During digestion, the molecules from food become oxidized;
of 90 mg of curcumin or the placebo two hours before exercise and immediately after exercise. Blood samples that were taken pre and post exercise indicated that curcumin increased blood
antioxidant capacity and can reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress.5
Curcumin also raises glutathione levels in the body; glutathione is the body’s chief antioxidant.
Studies to learn more about the effects of curcumin in the body after exercise have been conducted in humans and animals.2,5 Intensive exercise such as downhill running can cause muscle fiber damage, inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Curcumin reduces exercise-related inflammation and improves running performance recovery in mice, according to a recent study.2
Inflammation and Muscle Damage Due to Exercise
It is well understood that intense exercise can cause inflammation and muscle damage depending on the duration, intensity
Inflammation is a condition that involves uncontrolled activated immune responses. Numerous studies have suggested that curcumin is able to modulate the immune response and play an important role in the treatment of inflammation and metabolic diseases. Results from both in-vitro and in-vivo studies have provided strong evidence
As a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory, curcumin has several mechanisms of action in the body that help to improve physical performance and general health. Studies have demonstrated that curcumin is able to modulate the immune system, put out the fires of inflammation, and decrease muscle soreness for improved recovery time. It acts to improve endothelial function to the same extent that an aerobic exercise regimen can. Both animal and human studies have highlighted numerous benefits of curcumin and future research will likely identify others.
What You Need to Know
Curcumin is a powerful cellular protector that can have very beneficial and positive exercise performance effects in people who are active. This well-known and potent natural antioxidant ingredient derived from the turmeric root is able to reduce and prevent inflammation and also provide a performance boost by modulating the immune system, decreasing muscle soreness to improve recovery time, and also by enhancing endothelial function in the same manner as exercise does. Curcumin is a safe and effective exercise recovery enhancer, and it even produces some of the same cardiovascular benefits as aerobic exercise itself.