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Running to Exhaustion Study

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

Aim

This randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled cross-over study aimed to assess the effect of Lab4 based multi-strain probiotic supplementation on gut permeability, inflammation and running performance when exercising in the hot conditions.

Method

  • Ten trained, male runners (age 27 ยฑ 2 years) were divided into two groups.
  • Group 1 took one placebo capsule daily for 4 weeks.
  • Group 2 received one capsule of 45 billion Lab4 based multi-strain probiotics daily for 4 weeks.
  • After 4 weeks of supplementation, the runners completed the time-to-fatigue run (80% ventilatory threshold, 35ยฐC, 40% relative humidity).
  • Following a 3-week washout period, the runners who took a placebo in the first 4 weeks received Lab4 based multi-strain probiotics and vice versa. After 4 weeks of supplementation, the volunteers repeated the same time-to-fatigue run.
  • Volunteers provided blood samples before, immediately after and 1 hour after exercise. The urine samples were collected for 5 hours after the beginning of the exercise.

Results

Run time to fatigue
  • Significant increase in running time to fatigue in heat was observed in the probiotic group compared to placebo (*P=0.033).
  • The runners supplemented with probiotics exercised for a longer period (37 min 44s) compared to placebo (33 min).ย 
Run time to fatigue (s)
Intestinal permeability
  • Lactulose:Rhamnose ratio in urine was measured as an assessment of intestinal permeability.
  • Lactulose:Rhamnose ratio was 8% lower following the probiotic supplementation compared to placebo.
  • This was associated with the reduction in circulating lipopolysaccharide concentration at pre- and post-exercise.

Conclusion

Four weeks of Lab4 based multi-strain probiotic supplementation significantly increased running time to exhaustion in hot environmental conditions.

Reference

Shing CM et al 2014. Effects of probiotics supplementation on gastrointestinal permeability, inflammation and exercise performance in the heat. European Journal of Applied Physiology 114: 93-103

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