The Effect of Curcumin on Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Markers in Recreationally Active Women and Men

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Virginia Tech


Oxidative stress is a state characterized by an imbalance between the production and elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within cells. ROS, also known as free radicals, are crucial for cellular signaling and are generated through natural processes. The antioxidant defense system typically regulates their concentrations to prevent oxidative stress-related damage. However, when ROS concentrations surpass a certain threshold and overwhelm the antioxidant defense system, it can lead to physiological issues and impairments in athletic performance. Additionally, oxidative stress and inflammation are closely related phenomena that can exacerbate each other, creating a vicious cycle. Both oxidative stress and inflammation play key roles in the pathophysiology of various chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus, autoimmune diseases, and accelerated aging. Furthermore, acute oxidative stress and inflammation have been shown to negatively affect performance by reducing skeletal muscle force output and increasing fatigue. Therefore, it is crucial to explore strategies to mitigate uncontrolled elevations of oxidative stress and inflammation. Curcumin, a bioactive compound found in turmeric, has been linked to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. While cell line and animal studies have demonstrated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of curcumin, its effects in humans remain inconclusive. This dissertation project aimed to evaluate the effect of a four-week turmeric supplementation intervention on biomarkers associated with exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation in recreationally active individuals, 18 to 45 years of age. The study investigated curcumin's potential as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, while contributing to the existing literature on strategies for managing oxidative stress and inflammation. The findings from this research may offer valuable insights for promoting health, well-being, and athletic performance.



Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, Curcumin