Astragalosides Supplementation Enhances Intrinsic Muscle Repair Capacity Following Eccentric Exercise-Induced Injury


Astragalosides have been shown to enhance endurance exercise capacity in vivo and promote muscular hypertrophy in vitro. However, it remains unknown whether astragalosides supplementation can alter inflammatory response and enhance muscle recovery after damage in humans. We therefore aimed to evaluate the effect of astragalosides supplementation on muscle’s intrinsic capacity to regenerate and repair itself after exercise-induced damage. Using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over design, eleven male participants underwent 7 days of astragalosides supplementation (in total containing 4 mg of astragalosides per day) or a placebo control, following an eccentric exercise protocol. Serum blood samples and variables related to muscle function were collected prior to and immediately following the muscle damage protocol and also at 2 h, and 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days of the recovery period, to assess the pro-inflammatory cytokine response, the secretion of muscle regenerative factors, and muscular strength. Astragalosides supplementation reduced biomarkers of skeletal muscle damage (serum CK, LDH, and Mb), when compared to the placebo, at 1, 2, and 3 days following the muscle damage protocol. Astragalosides supplementation suppressed the secretion of IL-6 and TNF-α, whilst increasing the release of IGF-1 during the initial stages of muscle recovery. Furthermore, following astragaloside supplementation, muscular strength returned to baseline 2 days earlier than the placebo. Astragalosides supplementation shortens the duration of inflammation, enhances the regeneration process and restores muscle strength following eccentric exercise-induced injury.