27 Oct 2017 --- A new double-blind placebo-controlled human study has revealed that a short-term dietary curcumin-based supplementation with Indena’s Meriva curcumin may be helpful in the maintenance of the gastrointestinal barrier integrity and physiological strain responses during exertional heat stress. The study was conducted independently by a team of American researchers at High Point University in North Carolina, US.
“This adds important information to two previous studies on sports nutrition in which – on professional athletes and recreational athletes – we found evidence that Meriva can reduce damages at muscle level as well as can delay the onset of muscle soreness,” Cosimo Palumbo, Indena Marketing Director, told NutritionInsight during CPhI.
Maintaining barrier integrity The study examined an acute supplementation regimen, where participants ingested five tablets (500 mg each) of Meriva curcumin or placebo for three days prior to exertional heat stress (EHS). This dosing strategy was selected with reference to those used in two recent clinical studies demonstrating the positive effects of Meriva on healthy inflammatory responses to endurance cycling and on reducing inflammatory cytokines in circulation.
EHS was performed in a Darwin chamber where the participants completed an hour of treadmill exercise. Before the test, subjects were supplemented with the same daily dose of Meriva.
Click to EnlargeThere were two major findings in the study. First, it demonstrates that dietary curcumin supplementation may reduce the rise in core temperature (Tc), mean body temperature (Tb), Heart Rate (HR) and Physiological Strain Index (PSI) during exertional heat stress. Second, it shows that these changes are accompanied by maintenance in GI barrier integrity and associated cytokine responses, as indicated by the lower circulating concentrations of Intestinal fatty acid binding protein (IFABP) post-exercise in subjects supplemented with curcumin (58 percent versus 87 percent in the placebo group).
These data suggest that short-term dietary curcumin supplementation may help to lower EHS risk in non-heat acclimated individuals, Indena notes. This study was the first to examine curcumin for potential benefits on system-level physiology responses during exertional heat stress.
“Several scientific studies reveal that exercise-heat stress increases gastrointestinal damage and risk of exertional heatstroke. This happens because during prolonged endurance exercise blood flow is mainly diverted towards skeletal muscle and skin,” comments Antonella Riva, Product Research Manager Indena.
“These new positive human data confirm and expand our current findings on Meriva in sport nutrition, thanks to its outstanding performance in the maintenance of healthy inflammatory levels related to physiological mechanisms occurring during physical activities through the protection of gastrointestinal system,” Riva says.
Palumbo adds: “Indena gladly provided High Point University with Meriva to conduct this independent study. We are pleased that our curcumin formulation, already supported for its efficacy and safety by several clinical studies, continues to stimulate researchers’ interest from all over the world. This is a matter of pride for Indena after years of dedication to seek excellence and innovation for consumers and business partners.”
“This represents the 30th clinical trial with Meriva and we have exposed more than 2,000 volunteers to controlled clinical trials,” Palumbo tells NutritionInsight. “We have been targeting inflammation-based conditions, even if they can be used in different types of applications ranging from joint health to sports nutrition, and now we also have information on gut health.”
Other reported positive study results for Meriva this year have included prevention of osteopenia and improvement of non-fatty liver disease. NutritionInsight also spoke to Palumbo at VitaFoods Asia 2017 about digestive health products. Palumbo highlighted Indena’s R&D activities in this area including Prodigest, a patented combination of two standardized ingredients: a unique extract of artichoke leaves (Cynara cardunculus L.) and a similarly unique lipophilic CO2 extract of ginger roots (Zingiber officinale Rosc.).