Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes
Increased intestinal permeability has been implicated in various pathologies, has various causes, and can develop during vigorous athletic training. Colostrum bovinum is a natural supplement with a wide range of supposed positive health effects, including reduction of intestine permeability. We assessed influence of colostrum supplementation on intestinal permeability related parameters in a group of 16 athletes during peak training for competition. This double-blind placebo-controlled study compared supplementation for 20 days with 500 mg of colostrum bovinum or placebo (whey). Gut permeability status was assayed by differential absorption of lactulose and mannitol (L/M test) and stool zonulin concentration. Baseline L/M tests found that six of the participants (75%) in the colostrum group had increased intestinal permeability. After supplementation, the test values were within the normal range and were significantly lower than at baseline. The colostrum group Δ values produced by comparing the post-intervention and baseline results were also significantly lower than the placebo group Δ values. The differences in stool zonulin concentration were smaller than those in the L/M test, but were significant when the Δ values due to intervention were compared between the colostrum group and the placebo group. Colostrum bovinum supplementation was safe and effective in decreasing of intestinal permeability in this series of athletes at increased risk of its elevation.
Keywords: intestinal permeability, stool zonulin concentration, colostrum supplementation.