Ibuprofen: A Cautionary Tale

29 Dec

Hey Gang,

By now most of you are aware of Robb Wolf and his uber-paleo guru awesomeness. If not, check out www.robbwolf.com to see what all the buzz is about, or check out his Paleo Solutions podcast on iTunes. I subscribe to Robb Wolf’s newsletter and was reminded of some very important information concerning taking ibuprophen for pain/injury. Below is a quote from his newsletter and a link to the study showing the damaging effects of ibuprophen.

I’m sure you are aware that people often take ibuprofen to reduce exercise induced soreness due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Unfortunately, ibuprofen seems to worsen exercise induced gut permeability. You may not be aware that intense exercise can dramatically impact gut health by decreasing natural health promoters such as secretory IGA. One of the first indicators of over-training is actually digestive distress. As I’m sure you are aware, increased intestinal permeability is a bad idea for a variety of health reasons ranging from autoimmunity to insulin resistance to cardiovascular disease.

Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen certainly have their place. Occasionally I will get a low-back or neck tweak from doing BJJ and I really benefit from a targeted dose. I just try to keep these exposures to a bare minimum, keeping in mind the cost/benefit considerations.

Also, here’s what Kelly Starret, our mobility WOD genius, had to say on the subject.

Work hard, stay safe,


  • http://www.facebook.com/andyshirley77 Andy Shirley

    Since the KStarr post, he has since said no more ice. So whats left.

  • W.Carreira

    Good question! Here’s a quote from KStar on what he DOES recommend instead of ice:

    “Here is the MWod take: MCE
    Move safely when you can, what you can. Compress lymphatics and soft tissues (use bands, muscle contraction, clothing, normatec, etc.) Elevate when you can. MCE.”
    There are legitimate uses for ibuprofen (say brining down a 102 deg fever). The article is meant to caution against repeated use for exercise soreness. But as always, consult your medical professional.

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