An animal study demonstrated that 6-(Methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate (6-MSITC), a major bioactive compound in Japanese pungent spice wasabi, has an action of inhibiting the activation of calpain-1 (a protease). Increases in calpain activity can cause continual strength loss after eccentric exercise. It remains to be determined in humans whether 6-MSITC intake would modulate calpain and/or muscle damage responses after eccentric exercise. We performed a randomized, double-blind, crossover design study wherein eight healthy young males were randomly assigned to ingest 9 mg/day of 6-MSITC or placebo from 1 day before exercise to 4 days after exercise (30 maximal isokinetic eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors using an isokinetic dynamometer). Calpain-1 concentration, inflammatory and muscle damage markers (creatine kinase activity, urinary titin concentration, muscle strength, range of motion, muscle soreness and transverse relaxation time) were assessed. Plasma calpain-1 concentration after eccentric exercise was similar between the placebo- and 6-MSITC-treated conditions. All muscle damage and inflammatory markers were not affected by 6-MSITC relative to those in the placebo-treated condition. Our results suggest that 6-MSITC has no effect on plasma calpain-1 concentration and muscle damage and inflammatory markers measured after eccentric exercise.
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