Bovine colostrum (BC) reduces intestinal permeability


Endurance exercise training can increase intestinal permeability which may contribute to the development of gastrointestinal symptoms in some athletes. Bovine colostrum (BC) supplementation reduces intestinal permeability induced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This study aimed to determine whether BC could also reduce intestinal permeability induced by endurance exercise. Thirty healthy adult males (25.0 ± 4.7 yr; mean ± SD) completed eight weeks of running three times per week for 45 minutes at their lactate threshold while consuming 60 g/day of BC, whey protein (WP) or control (CON). Intestinal permeability was assessed at baseline and after eight weeks by measuring the ratio of urinary lactulose (L) and rhamnose (R) excretion. After eight weeks the L/R ratio increased significantly more in volunteers consuming BC (251 ± 140%) compared with WP (21 ± 35%, P < 0.05) and CON (−7 ± 13%, P < 0.02). The increase in intestinal permeability with BC may have been due to BC inducing greater leakiness of tight junctions between enterocytes or by increasing macromolecular transport as it does in neonatal gut. Further research should investigate the potential for BC to increase intestinal macromolecular transport in adults.

Jonathan D. Buckley 1,2,*, Ross N. Butler 2,3, Emma Southcott 3 and Grant D. Brinkworth 4 1 Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, University of South Australia Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia 2 Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia 3 Department of Gastroenterology, Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia 4 Preventative Health National Research Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation – Human Nutrition, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed: E-Mail:; Tel.: +61-8-8302 1853; Fax: +61-8-8302 2178.

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