Targeting Exercise-Induced Leaky Gut

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Targeting Exercise-Induced Leaky Gut

Leaky gut isn’t a typical nutrition concern for athletes and other active adults. That mind space is typically reserved for finding nutrition solutions to maintain fluid balance, stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and deliver targeted benefits to fuel peak performance and recovery.

Yet, a new study suggests that it should be.

Increased intestinal permeability, commonly known as leaky gut, occurs when the normally tight spaces between the cells that line the intestinal wall (epithelial cells) weaken. This can allow toxins in the intestine to slip through and enter the body. In fact, researchers found a 3-fold increase in gut permeability in active men after only one 20-minute treadmill run.1 In short, they found the stress of physical activity alone was enough to cause leaky gut, but they also found a simple nutrition solution.

The sweaty study design

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study involved eight active men, aged 19 to 33 years, who engaged in a variety of sports such as cycling, running, lacrosse, football and rugby. The men were asked to consume four treatments for 14 days each: (1) a placebo; (2) zinc-carnosine; (3) colostrum; and (4) zinc-carnosine plus colostrum.

On the second and last day of each treatment, the men completed an exercise test, running on a treadmill for 20 minutes at a constant speed at 80% of their maximum aerobic capacity. To measure gut permeability, the men drank a test drink followed by a 5-hour urine collection after each exercise session.

The gut-fortifying results

The most impressive results were seen after 14 days. Compared to taking a placebo, taking zinc-carnosine alone or with colostrum reduced exercise-induced leaky gut by over 70 percent. (Adding colostrum led to a slightly higher reduction, but the difference was not statistically significant). The effective amount of zinc-carnosine was 37.5 mg, twice daily.

Results from cell culture studies suggest zinc-carnosine may exert its gut-fortifying effect by reducing temperature-induced apoptosis (programmed cell death), producing more Hsp70 (a protective heat shock protein), or modulating protein complexes that stabilize the barrier between intestinal epithelial cells.

Putting research into practice

The zinc-carnosine used in this study is the same patent-protected zinc-carnosine featured in PepZin-GI® Zinc Carnosine. Each chewable tablet provides 75 mg of zinc-carnosine. It’s a novel ingredient, backed by clinical research, which health-conscious consumers have been using for decades to support stomach health. Now, we can add targeted benefits for athletes and other active adults.*

About Endurance Products Company

Endurance Products Company has been a trusted source of quality dietary supplements since 1978. Our sustained-release and extended-release tablets feature a unique vegetable wax matrix that releases nutrients in a slow, steady manner over a period of hours for optimal nutrient absorption and retention.

1. Davison G, Marchbank T, March DS, Thatcher R, Playford RJ. Zinc carnosine works with bovine colostrum in truncating heavy exercise-induced increase in gut permeability in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun 29. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27357095.


PepZin-GI® is a trademark of Hamari Chemicals, Ltd.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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