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Effects of probiotics supplementation on gastrointestinal permeability, inflammation and exercise performance in the heat


Shing, CM and Peake, JM and Lim, CL and Briskey, D and Walsh, NP and Fortes, MB and Ahuja, KDK and Vitetta, L, Effects of probiotics supplementation on gastrointestinal permeability, inflammation and exercise performance in the heat, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114, (1) pp. 93-103. ISSN 1439-6319 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00421-013-2748-y


Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effects of multi-strain probiotics supplementation on gastrointestinal permeability, systemic markers of inflammation and running performance when exercising in the heat.

Methods: Ten male runners were randomized to 4 weeks of daily supplementation with a probiotics capsule (45 billion CFU of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus strains) or placebo, separated by a washout period (double-blind, cross-over trial). After each treatment, the runners exercised to fatigue at 80 % of their ventilatory threshold at 35 C and 40 % humidity. To assess gastrointestinal permeability, runners ingested lactulose and rhamnose before exercise and post-exercise urine was collected to measure sugar concentrations. Venous blood samples were collected before, immediately after and 1 h after exercise, and core temperature was monitored during exercise.

Results: Probiotics supplementation significantly increased run time to fatigue (min:s 37:44  2:42 versus 33:00  2:27; P = 0.03, d = 0.54). Average core temperature during exercise was similar between trials (probiotic 38.1  0.2 C, placebo 38.1  0.1 C; P = 0.77, d = 0.13). Serum lipopolysaccharide concentration increased post-exercise (P < 0.001), while there was a moderate to large reduction in pre-exercise (d = 0.70) and post-exercise (d = 1.24) concentration following probiotics supplementation. Plasma concentrations of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-1ra increased after exercise (P < 0.01), but there was no significant difference between trials (P > 0.05). There was a small to moderate reduction (d = 0.35) in urine lactulose:rhamnose and a small reduction (d = 0.25) in symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort following probiotics supplementation (both P = 0.25).

Conclusion: Four weeks of supplementation with a multi-strain probiotic increased running time to fatigue in the heat. Further studies are required to elucidate the exact mechanisms for this performance benefit.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords: lactulose, probiotic, sucrose, placebo, core temperature, probiotic, supplementation, exertional heat stroke, tight junction protein, lactobacillus, exercise, performance, lithium, plasma il-6 concentration, nude body mass, gastritis, glucan
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Shing, CM (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
ID Code:86762
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:115
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2013-10-21
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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