Background: Heavy exercise causes gut symptoms and, in extreme cases, heat stroke that is due to the increased intestinal permeability of luminal toxins.
Objective: We examined whether zinc carnosine (ZnC), a health-food product taken alone or in combination with bovine colostrum (a natural source of growth factors), would moderate such effects.
Design: Eight volunteers completed a 4-arm, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover protocol (14 d of placebo, ZnC, colostrum, or ZnC plus colostrum) before undertaking standardized exercise 2 and 14 d after the start of treatment. Changes in epithelial resistance, apoptosis signaling molecules, and tight junction (TJ) protein phosphorylation in response to a 2°C rise in body temperature were determined with the use of Caco-2 and HT29 intestinal cells.
Results: Body temperature increased 2°C, and gut permeability (5-h urinary lactulose:rhamnose ratios) increased 3-fold after exercise (from 0.32 ± 0.016 baseline to 1.0 ± 0.017 at 14 d; P < 0.01). ZnC or colostrum truncated the rise by 70% after 14 d of treatment. The combination treatment gave an additional benefit, and truncated exercise induced increase at 2 d (30% reduction; P < 0.01). A 2°C temperature rise in in vitro studies caused the doubling of apoptosis and reduced epithelial resistance 3-4-fold. ZnC or colostrum truncated these effects (35-50%) with the greatest response seen with the combination treatment (all P < 0.01). Mechanisms of action included increasing heat shock protein 70 and truncating temperature-induced changes in B cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 associated X protein α and B cell lymphoma 2. ZnC also increased total occludin and reduced phosphorylated tyrosine claudin, phosphorylated tyrosine occludin, and phosphorylated serine occludin, thereby enhancing the TJ formation and stabilization.
Conclusion: ZnC, taken alone or with colostrum, increased epithelial resistance and the TJ structure and may have value for athletes and in the prevention of heat stroke in military personnel. This trial was registered at www.isrctn.com as ISRCTN51159138.
Keywords: clinical trial; gut growth; injury; nutriceutical; repair.
© 2016 American Society for Nutrition.