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OC-083 Clinical trial: influence of bovine colostrum on intestinal permeability in healthy athletes after heavy exercise
  1. T Marchbank1,
  2. G Davison2,
  3. J R Oakes2,
  4. M Ghatei3,
  5. M Patterson3,
  6. J Rolfs4,
  7. R J Playford1
  1. 1Department of Digestive Diseases, Barts and the London School of Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK
  3. 3Department of Metabolic Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Colostrum UK, London, UK


Introduction Heavy exercise results in gut symptoms and in extreme cases “heat stroke” due, in part, to increased intestinal permeability of luminal toxins. We examined if bovine colostrum a rich source of growth factors and immune modulators could prevent these permeability changes.

Methods Twelve healthy volunteers completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover protocol (14 days colostrum or placebo) prior to standardised exercise. Gut permeability utilised 5 h urinary lactulose: rhamnose ratios. In vitro studies (T84 cells) examined effects of colostrum on temperature-induced apoptosis (active caspase-3) and epithelial resistance.

Results For both arms of study, exercise increased the blood lactate, heart rate, core temperature (mean 2°C rise) and plasma VIP by similar amounts. However, GLP-1 plasma levels results were discordant; rising by 88.7 pmol/l in placebo arm but falling by 4.2 pmol/l in colostrum arm (p=0.026). Intestinal permeability in placebo arm increased 2.5-fold following exercise (0.38±0.012 baseline value, to 0.92±0.014, p<0.01), whereas colostrum truncated this rise by 80% (only rising from 0.38±0.012, initial baseline value, to 0.49±0.017) following exercise. In vitro apoptosis increased by 63% in response to increasing temperature by 2°C whereas this effect was truncated by 66% if colostrum was co-present (all p<0.01). Similar results were obtained when changes in epithelial resistance were assessed (colostrum truncating the fall in resistance by 64%, p<0.01).

Conclusion Bovine colostrum reduced exercise-induced increase in gut permeability, possibly through mechanisms including reducing temperature-induced apoptosis. This may have value in enhancing athletic performance and preventing heat stroke.

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