Cow’s first milk could boost athletic performance

Friday, February 25, 2011

LONDON - Scientists looking for ways to boost athletic performance have found cow’s first milk promising in the treatment of the ‘leaky gut syndrome’.

Bovine colostrum, early milk produced for a few days after delivery of a calf, is apparently rich in immunoglobulins, proteins involved in promoting the immune system and fighting germs.

The body adapts to a leaky gut, primarily affecting athletes, by clearing the gut of its contents to prevent the entry of toxins into the bloodstream. Such exercise induced disorders can trigger symptoms like diarrhoea.

They can lead to heatstroke which can result in damage to the internal organs, reports the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

Ray Playford, professor of medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, who led the study, said: “Athletes’ performance can be seriously diminished due to gut symptoms during heavy exercise.”

Playford’s team looked at athletes who were asked to run for 20 minutes at 80 percent of their aerobic maximum, according to a London School statement.

At the end of the exercise, changes in the subject’s gut leakiness was measured using urine sample - also determined were changes in the athletes’ core temperature.

Under standard conditions, gut leakiness had increased by 250 percent. However, when the group was given a drink of dairy colostrum for two weeks before the trial, the rise in gut leakiness was reduced by about 80 percent, despite the same effort.

Filed under: Science and Technology

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