DOMS is one of the outcomes of inflammation due to microscopic wear and tear in the muscles caused by strenuous exercise. While some muscle soreness is typical of any exercise regimen and usually peaks around 36–48 hours after the event, in athletes or regular gym-goers unaccustomed to high intensity workouts, the exercise may lead to sustained inflammatory response, causing prolongation of skeletal muscle recovery. DOMS may lead to passive stiffness, swelling, and pain in muscles, which may affect performance as well as recovery.
In this prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on 20 healthy male subjects, the analgesic effect of a multi-enzyme complex capsulein management of DOMS was compared to a placebo. The multi-enzyme complex consisted of amylase, protease, lipase, cellulose, and lactase, while the placebo capsules contained an equivalent weight of maltodextrin. All participants in the experimental group received 50 mg multi-enzyme complex supplementation over a three-day period. During this period, they consumed one capsule three times a day. The participants in the placebo group received capsules of similar size and color, and they were given identical instructions on dosage of study supplement to be followed. The participants visited the clinic on day 0 (baseline visit) and subsequent visits on day 1, day 2, and day 3. The researchers conducted physical exams after recording vital signs (blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rate, and respiratory rate) and medical history.
The researchers found that the multi-enzyme complex demonstrated significant improvement in subjective pain and tenderness, with no significant improvement in levels of markers of inflammation, muscle damage, or muscle flexion. The researchers concluded that “the findings of this study suggest that multi-enzyme complex can have several potential clinical applications. Protease supplementation when coupled with a well-managed training program can result in more rapid recovery of the damage caused to contractile mechanism by DOMS.”