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Curcumin, the active ingredient in curry spice, relieves pain and inflammation in muscles after exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Italian researchers tested a special form of curcumin, Meriva, among 20 healthy men, taken for two days before and after an intense, 45-minute downhill run. Those taking Meriva, compared to a placebo, had less pain in the days following the run, and imaging tests showed less muscle damage. In other research, the supplement (2 grams daily) was comparable to acetaminophen (in Tylenol, for example) as a pain reliever. On supplement labels, Meriva is sometimes called “curcumin phytosome.”