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An Exploratory Investigation of Endotoxin Levels in Novice Long Distance Triathletes, and the Effects of a Multi-Strain Probiotic/Prebiotic, Antioxidant Intervention

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posted on 2023-01-20, 15:55 authored by Justin D. Roberts, Craig A. Suckling, Georgia Y. Peedle, Joseph A. Murphy, Tony DawkinsTony Dawkins, Michael G. Roberts

 Gastrointestinal (GI) ischemia during exercise is associated with luminal permeability and increased systemic lipopolysaccharides (LPS). This study aimed to assess the impact of a multistrain pro/prebiotic/antioxidant intervention on endotoxin unit levels and GI permeability in recreational athletes. Thirty healthy participants (25 males, 5 females) were randomly assigned either a multistrain pro/prebiotic/antioxidant (LAB4ANTI; 30 billion CFU·day−1 containing 10 billion CFU·day−1 Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL-60 (NCIMB 30157), 10 billion CFU·day−1 Lactobacillus acidophillus CUL-21 (NCIMB 30156), 9.5 billion CFU·day−1 Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL-20 (NCIMB 30172) and 0.5 billion CFU·day−1 Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis CUL-34 (NCIMB 30153)/55.8 mg·day−1 fructooligosaccharides/ 400 mg·day−1 α-lipoic acid, 600 mg·day−1 N-acetyl-carnitine); matched pro/prebiotic (LAB4) or placebo (PL) for 12 weeks preceding a long-distance triathlon. Plasma endotoxin units (via Limulus amebocyte lysate chromogenic quantification) and GI permeability (via 5 h urinary lactulose (L): mannitol (M) recovery) were assessed at baseline, pre-race and six days post-race. Endotoxin unit levels were not significantly different between groups at baseline (LAB4ANTI: 8.20 ± 1.60 pg·mL−1; LAB4: 8.92 ± 1.20 pg·mL−1; PL: 9.72 ± 2.42 pg·mL−1). The use of a 12-week LAB4ANTI intervention significantly reduced endotoxin units both pre-race (4.37 ± 0.51 pg·mL−1) and six days post-race (5.18 ± 0.57 pg·mL−1; p = 0.03, ηp2 = 0.35), but only six days post-race with LAB4 (5.01 ± 0.28 pg·mL−1; p = 0.01, ηp2 = 0.43). In contrast, endotoxin units remained unchanged with PL. L:M significantly increased from 0.01 ± 0.01 at baseline to 0.06 ± 0.01 with PL only (p = 0.004, ηp2 = 0.51). Mean race times (h:min:s) were not statistically different between groups despite faster times with both pro/prebiotoic groups (LAB4ANTI: 13:17:07 ± 0:34:48; LAB4: 12:47:13 ± 0:25:06; PL: 14:12:51 ± 0:29:54; p > 0.05). Combined multistrain pro/prebiotic use may reduce endotoxin unit levels, with LAB4ANTI potentially conferring an additive effect via combined GI modulation and antioxidant protection. 


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Roberts, J. D., Suckling, C. A., Peedle, G. Y., Murphy, J. A., Dawkins, T. G., & Roberts, M. G. (2016). An Exploratory Investigation of Endotoxin Levels in Novice Long Distance Triathletes, and the Effects of a Multi-Strain Probiotic/Prebiotic, Antioxidant Intervention. Nutrients, 8(11), 733.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Tony Dawkins

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Cardiovascular Physiology

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  • © The Authors


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