The Effects of Curcumin Supplementation on Muscle Damage, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammatory Markers in Healthy Females with Moderate Physical Activity: A Randomized, Double‑Blind, Placebo‑Controlled Clinical Trial

Mina Salehi, Nafiseh Shokri Mashhadi, Parivash Shekarchizadeh Esfahani, Awat Feizi, Amir Hadi, Gholamreza Askari


Background: Exercise‑induced oxidative stress, muscle damage, and inflammation represent major contributors to why athletes use ergogenic aids. Turmeric is used as a spice because of its polyphenol ingredient named curcumin. We assessed the effects of curcumin supplementation on inflammatory, oxidative stress markers, muscle damage, and anthropometric indices in women with moderate physical activity. Methods: This double‑blind, placebo‑controlled clinical trial was conducted on 80 women with moderate physical activity levels (defined as walking or swimming for at least 1 h per day) for 8 weeks. Mean ± SD of age (years) all participants was 21 ± 2. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups: curcumin (500 mg/day) and placebo (500 mg/day cornstarch). Serum C‑reactive protein (CRP), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), malondialdehyde (MDA), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, body composition, and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) were evaluated before and after an intervention. Results: Sixty‑five subjects completed the 8‑week intervention. Within analysis indicated a significant decrease in CRP, LDH, MDA levels, and a significant increase in VO2 max in the curcumin group after an intervention (P < 0.05). There were significant decreases in CRP (P = 0.002), LDH (P = 0.041), and MDA (P = 0.005), no significant increase in TAC, and significant increase in VO2 max (P = 0.0001) levels in the curcumin group compared with placebo group. There were no significant changes in weight, body mass index, body fat, and lean body mass between two groups. Conclusions: Our findings indicated that 8‑week curcumin administration could significantly improve CRP, LDH, MDA, and VO2 max. Curcumin supplementation did not elicit significant changes in anthropometric indices in this study.


Body composition; curcumin; inflammation; muscle damage; oxidative stress

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