Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes

Aim: To determine whether bovine colostrum consumption could normalize (decrease) intestinal permeability resulting from active training in athletes.

Protocol: A total of 16 healthy male (20-43 years old) professional mixed martial art fighters undergoing active training during the competitive season were randomized into two blinded groups to receive either placebo (whey plus desiccated banana) or 1g of colostrum daily for 20 days. Intestinal permeability was tested at baseline (day 0) and at day 22. For the second phase, the placebo group was retained on study was placed on colostrum for 20 days and intestinal permeability measured to compare to baseline and post-placebo consumption period.

Results: Baseline intestinal permeability was higher than normal in both groups. Colostrum consumption significantly lowered intestinal permeability, whereas placebo had no effect. Those on placebo who were crossed over to colostrum in the second phase saw a significant reduction in intestinal permeability after consuming colostrum for 20 days.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence which suggests that bovine colostrum can be responsible for the effective reversal of inappropriately increased intestinal permeability.

Reference: Hałasa M, et al. Nutrients. 2017 Apr;9(4):370.