October 20, 2019

Inositol plus selenium restores thyroid function in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism

Hashimoto’s is one of the most common autoimmune diseases. Autoimmunity can occur a few different ways, but eventually the thyroid gland progressively becomes underactive due to antibody and cell mediated autoimmune processes.

According to a recent study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, researchers demonstrated that myo-inositol and selenium restores normal thyroid function in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Environmental triggers are what integrative doctors mainly work with in functional medicine to healthy address the dysfunction in autoimmune disease. These can be food triggers such as gluten or food sensitivities that can trigger inflammation as well as anything coming in with the food such as toxins or molds. In addition, the nutrient status of the person. This can be antioxidant status, vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, etc. Also, gut health. This includes “leaky gut” and dysbiosis. There are also toxins that can be affect the status of the immune system. These are heavy metals, xenobiotics, as well as the total toxic burden in the body.

Inositol is commonly used to support sleep, female hormone health as well alleviate depression and anxiety. Inositol is also a second messenger regulating several hormones such as insulin and TSH.

In this study 168 patients ages 22 to 62 years were enrolled in a random controlled trial (RCT). These patients had a TSH level between 3-6 mIU/L, elevated TPO and/or Thyroglobulin antibodies, and normal free T4 and T3 levels. They were randomized into two groups and were given either 83 mcg of selenium or a combination of 600 mg of myo-inositol and 83 mcg of selenium and for six months.

As a result, there was a significant reduction in TSH levels in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and increases in thyroid hormone concentrations with myo-inositol combined with selenium. In addition, there was a lower TPO antibody concentration in both groups but only a reduction in thyroglobulin antibodies in the myo-inositol with selenium group.

Since myo-inositol combined with selenium decreases TSH levels and raises T3 and T4, they may also provide indirect protection to cardiovascular complications as thyroid hormones regulate heart rate and metabolism. Decreased levels of free T3 and T4 can lead to higher blood pressure, low heart rate, and increased stiffness of the blood vessel walls.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Nordio M, Basciani S. Myo-inositol plus selenium supplementation restores euthyroid state in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2017; 21 (2 Suppl): 51-59.







Resveratrol improves arterial stiffness and reduces oxidative damage in patients with diabetes

Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It has been widely publicized for its cardiovascular health benefits, however, there are few human studies in patients with atherosclerogenic diseases.

According to a study published last week in the International Heart Journal, researchers demonstrated improved arterial stiffness and reduced oxidative damage in patients with type II diabetes.

Resveratrol activates sirtuins, which are the same proteins activated by caloric restriction and exhibits anti-atherosclerotic effects.

This study consisted of 50 patient with type II diabetes. All participants received either a supplement containing 100 mg of resveratrol or a placebo tablet for 12 weeks.  Researchers assessed body weight, BMI, a comprehensive metabolic panel, HbA1c, lipid profile, oxidative stress markers, blood pressure, and cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI). All patients followed the same diet and exercise routine.

After 12 weeks, the CAVI and systolic blood pressure decreased significantly in resveratrol group compared to the placebo. An increased CAVI is associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke and vascular dysfunction and predictor of a future cardiovascular event independent of other traditional risk factors. Resveratrol can act through several mechanisms, including binding and activating estrogen receptors to increase nitric oxide bioavailability and facilitate the vasodilatation.

D-ROMS, an oxidative stress marker, also decreased only in the resveratrol group. Resveratrol decreases reactive oxygen species production in vascular endothelial cells. Oxidative stress is elevated in chronic disease such as obesity and diabetes. 

These results support resveratrol supplementation as a potential strategy for mitigating arterial stiffness and reducing blood pressure and oxidative damage with patients with type II diabetes.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Imamura H et al. Resveratrol Ameliorates Arterial Stiffness Assessed by Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int Heart J. 2017 Jul 13. doi: 10.1536/ihj.16-373.

New study explains the association to sleep disturbance and cognitive decline

Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.

According to a new study published on Monday in the journal Brain, researchers demonstrate how sleep disruption increases amyloid beta and tau proteins, which are associated with ADRD.

Previous studies have shown poor sleep having an increased the risk of cognitive problems. For example, individuals with sleep apnea have an increased risk for developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) approximately 10 years earlier than healthy individuals.

In this study, seventeen adults ages 35 to 65 with no sleep issues or cognitive impairment wore a sleep monitor for up to two weeks tracking how much they slept each night.

After five or more nights of tracking their sleep, each participant came to the School of Medicine to sleep and have their brain waves monitored. Half the participants randomly had their sleep disrupted. These individuals reported feeling tired and unrefreshed even though they slept just as long as usual and rarely recalled being awakened during the night. Each person had a spinal tap to measure the levels of amyloid beta and tau in the CSF fluid.

After a month or so this process was repeated except that those who had their sleep disrupted the first time slept undisturbed and those who had slept uninterrupted initially were disrupted when they began to enter deep slow-wave sleep. This is the time when neurons rest and the brain clears away the molecular byproducts of mental activity that has accumulate during that day.

The researcher team then compared each individual’s amyloid beta and tau levels after the disrupted night to the levels after the uninterrupted night and found a 10% increase in amyloid beta levels after a single night of interrupted sleep but no increase in tau protein levels. However, individuals whose sleep monitors showed they had slept poorly at home for the week prior to the spinal tap showed a spike in levels of tau levels. Amyloid levels normally change more quickly than tau, so this was not surprising.

It is highly unlikely that there is an overall increased risk of developing ADRD simply from a single bad night or a week of poor sleep.  Amyloid beta and tau protein levels will go back down after the next good of sleep, however, the main issue is those that have chronic sleep issues. This can lead to chronically elevated amyloid levels leading to increased risk of ADRD.

It is important to address the environment to promote restful sleep. It is important limit use of screens at bedtime although it is very hard to today’s society. If necessary, I would recommend using apps like Night Shift (smartphones) and f.lux for laptops. In addition, it is important that people go to sleep around the same time every night. When the timing of your sleep is shifted even if the duration of sleep is the same, it’s not going to be as restorative. Caffeine and other stimulants can keep you up and interfere with sleep. It is best to avoid these four to six hours before bedtime. Finally, try to get your workout in earlier in the day. Exercise increases cortisol and can make hard trying to fall asleep. If not possible, consider phosphatidylserine  post workout.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: David M. Holtzman et al. Slow wave sleep disruption increases cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels. Brain, July 2017 DOI: 10.1093/brain/awx148

A new review demonstrates the role of the gut microbiome in autism spectrum disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has an unclear cause but is associated with various genetic, neurologic, metabolic, and immunologic factors. Although there is no definitive treatment, gastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with autism. Patients with ASD who present GI symptoms may show significant behavioral manifestations, such as anxiety, self-injury and aggression. 

According to a recent review in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, researchers review the bidirectional interactions between the central nervous system (CNS) and the gastrointestinal tract vita the brain-gut axis and the role of the gut microbiota in the CNS and ASD.

A review of over 150 papers on ASD and gut bacteria found that since the 1960s, researchers have been reporting the association between the composition of gut microbiome and autistic behavior. This review highlights many studies showing that restoring a healthy balance in gut bacteria can treat ASD symptoms.

Research demonstrates that the gut microbiota is directly or indirectly associated with ASD symptoms altering the immune system and metabolism. Studies show a higher percentage of intestinal permeability in ASD patients resulting in a higher antigenic load from the gastrointestinal tract. These inflammatory cytokines are present in the circulation and cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Alterations in the composition of the gut microbiota and their metabolic products are commonly observed in patients with ASD. For example, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is increased in the serum of ASD patients and is associated with impaired social behavioral scores.

In addition, the gut microbiome of children with ASD is less diverse with lower levels of Bifidobacterium and Firmicutes and higher levels of Lactobacillus, Clostridium, Bacteroidetes, Desulfovibrio, Caloramator and Sarcina. Also, children with autism who present gastrointestinal symptoms have lower abundances of the genera Prevotella, Coprococcus, and Veillonellaceae and higher levels of the Clostridium histolyticum. The reduction of Clostridium results in significant improvements with ASD symptoms.

Researchers also found that Candida was twice as abundant in ASD. The dysbiosis seen in ASD results in the expansion of Candida leading to further imbalance and an exacerbation in abnormal behaviors.

Early life events can alter the composition of the gut microbiome in ASD patients. These may include the overuse of antibiotics, maternal obesity and diabetes during pregnancy, how a baby is delivered, and if and how long the infant was breastfed.  Keep in mind in a child under 3 years of age whose brain is at the height of development may have impaired neurodevelopment due to the presence of the metabolic products resulting from the dysbiosis and intestinal permeability.

At present, there are no effective therapies for ASD. Many of these children take nutritional supplements and follow specific diets such as a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet.

It is essential to assess gut health in patients with ASD. Many of these children have a dysbiosis and opportunistic infections.

Children with ASD have significantly different concentrations of certain bacteria in their stool compared to children without ASD. Increasing evidence suggests that children with ASD have altered gut bacteria. It is suspected that gut microbes can alter the levels of neurotransmitter-related metabolites affecting the gut-to-brain communication and alter brain function.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Qinrui Li, Ying Han, Angel Belle C. Dy, Randi J. Hagerman. The Gut Microbiota and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2017; 11 DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2017.00120

New study demonstrates sulforaphane improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes

According to a study published two days ago, researchers demonstrated that sulforaphane improves fasting glucose levels and decreases HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance is preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress management. Weight loss and exercise are the best treatments for restoring the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are a significant health care problem in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people. Up to 15% of patients cannot take metformin because of kidney damage risks.

As a result, researchers sought out to identify compounds that may inhibit disease-associated gene expression changes seen with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers constructed a signature for type 2 diabetes based on 50 genes, then used publically available expression datasets to screen 3,852 compounds for drugs that potentially reverse disease. They demonstrated that sulforaphane reduced glucose production by liver cells growing in culture and shifted liver gene expression away from a diseased state in diabetic rats.

Researchers then gave 97 patients with type 2 diabetes patients a concentrated broccoli sprout extracts (BSE) for 12-weeks. As result, BSE reduced fasting glucose in patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes but not in patients with well-regulated type 2 diabetes. They also observed an association between BMI and BSE-induced change in HbA1c. There were significantly reduced levels of HbA1c after BSE treatment in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes. BSE was also more effective in lowering fasting blood glucose in patients with elevated triglyceride levels and in patients with high HOMA-IR. The BSE-induced reduction of HbA1c correlated with high fatty liver index.

These results demonstrate that sulforaphane reduces glucose production by NRF2 translocation and decreased expression of key gluconeogenetic enzymes and improves fasting glucose and HbA1c in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes. Sulforaphane reduces glucose production by mechanisms different than metformin and also protects against diabetic neuropathy, renal failure, and atherosclerosis due to its antioxidative effects.

In addition, there are several nutrients that can play a role in improving insulin signaling such as chromium, zinc, carnosine, benfotiamine, alpha lipoic acid, and inositol.

Also, essential fatty acids should be consumed in our diets for overall health, but most individuals with insulin resistance are deficient. Fish oils improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. 

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Annika S. Axelsson et al. Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Science Translational Medicine, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah4477

New study demonstrates improvements in mental health and oxidative stress with carnitine supplementation in PCOS patients

PCOS is associated with irregular menstrual periods, infertility, obesity, diabetes, excess hair growth, acne, and other hormonal difficulties. The condition occurs when a woman’s body produces slightly higher than normal amounts of testosterone and other sex hormones. This imbalance can cause irregular menstrual periods, weight gain, acne, excess body hair, and/or balding.

Pharmaceutical interventions provide some improvements but they do not correct many of the underlying factors and have side effects that may not be tolerated by patients. Many PCOS patients are overweight and have dietary habits that exacerbate the condition.

Recent research has demonstrated that there is an increased risk of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression in women with PCOS. Many of us are familiar with carnitine’s role in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, however, there is evidence of carnitine improving depressive symptoms in those with major depressive disorder. Other studies have also shown reduced oxidative stress with carnitine supplementation.

According to a study published this month in Gynecological Endocrinology, researchers demonstrated that carnitine supplementation improved both mental health parameters and oxidative stress biomarkers in women with PCOS.

In this study. 60 patient with PCOS ages 18-40 were divided in two groups to take either a carnitine supplement (250 mg) or placebo for 12 weeks. These individuals did not change their physical activity or take any additional nutritional supplements.

After 12 weeks of carnitine supplementation, there was a significant reduction in weight and BMI change as well as an improvement in Beck Disability Inventory (BDI) total score and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) scores. In addition, there were changes in plasma total antioxidant capacity demonstrating positive effects on oxidative stress. As a result, there were significant improvements in mental health parameters and biomarkers of oxidative stress compared to the placebo.

Other nutrients to consider to support PCOS:

Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in women with PCOS. There appears to be a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods which is a distinctive characteristic feature of PCOS. As a result, the nutritional requirements of PCOS patients may not be met by a simple change in the diet and that inositol should be viewed as a conditionally essential nutrient in these women.

Myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol are both essential for patients with PCOS. The conversion of myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol is of interest because errors here have been strongly involved in PCOS patients. Strong evidence supports that the body makes D-chiro-inositol from myo-inositol and more evidence suggests that some people are less able to make this conversion than others.  Along this spectrum, people who are completely unable to convert myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol are only going to benefit from supplementation with D-chiro-inositol. Other people who make the conversion, but with less than optimal efficiency, may benefit from large doses of myo-inositol. And, other individuals in between, might see the best results from a blend of the two. Since this conversion is impaired in individuals with PCOS, it is important to always include D-chiro-inositol with myo-inositol supplementation. D-chiro-inositol is the more potent form of inositol for supporting insulin resistance, however, myo-inositol is need for oocyte quality and maturation. Therefore, supplementing with D-chiro-inositol alone cannot not fulfill myo-inositol’s roles that are specific and different from D-chiro-inositol, since it does not convert to myo-inositol.

Also, essential fatty acids should be consumed in our diets for overall health, but most individuals with insulin resistance are deficient. Fish oils improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. 

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Jamilian H et al. Oral carnitine supplementation influences mental health parameters and biomarkers of oxidative stress in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2017; 33(6):442-447.

New study demonstrates omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to regions of the brain associated with cognition

According to a new study published last Thursday in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers showed through neuroimaging increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning in individuals higher omega-3 levels.

Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.

This study included 166 individuals from a psychiatric clinic in which Omega-3 Index results were available. These patients were categorized into two groups of higher EPA and DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 128 regions of their brains and each individual completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.

Previous research hasdemonstrated that mentally stimulating activities reduce the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment even when performed later in life.

SPECT can measure blood perfusion in the brain. In addition, performing various mentally stimulating cognitive tasks will show increased blood flow to specific brain regions. As a result, researchers identified a significant relationships between the omega-3 index and regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas involved with memory, and neurocognitive testing.

This study demonstrated the positive relationships between omega-3 EPA and DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. This is significant because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source:  Quantitative Erythrocyte Omega-3 EPA Plus DHA Levels are Related to Higher Regional Cerebral Blood Flow on Brain SPECT, Amen, Daniel G. et al., Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, doi: 10.3233/JAD-170281, published 18 May 2017



New study demonstrates differences in the gut microbiota and regions of the brain in IBS

According to a new study published on May 1st , UCLA researchers identified a relationship between the gut microorganisms and brain volume in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

This is the first time researchers have been able to show an association between the gut microbiota and regions of the brain involved in sensory information processing in patients with IBS. These results suggest that signals from the brain can influence the composition of gut microbes and the chemicals in the intestine can shape the human brain’s structure.

Previous animal studies have demonstrated effects of gut microbiome on brain function and behavior as well as the influence of the brain on the composition of microbes in the gut. With that being said, only one human study has confirmed these findings.

Other research has showed evidence for alterations of gut microbiome in people with IBS, but there lacked consistency. In relation to a person’s history with childhood trauma there has been an association with structural and functional brain changes and childhood trauma has also been shown to alter gut microbial composition.

In this study, UCLA researchers collected behavioral and clinical measures, stool samples, and brain images from 29 adults diagnosed with IBS and 23 healthy individuals. They used DNA sequencing to quantify composition, abundance, and diversity of the gut microbiota. The researchers then cross-referenced these gut microbial measures with structural features of the brain.

The samples from those with IBS were clustered into two subgroups based on the composition of the microbes in the gut. One group was similar from the healthy control subjects, while the other differed. Those in the group with an altered gut microbiota had more history of early life trauma and longer duration of IBS symptoms. The two groups also displayed differences in brain structure.

The researchers stated that an analysis of individual’s gut microbiome may become a routine screening test for people with IBS in clinical practice, and in the future, therapies such as certain diets and probiotics may become personalized based on an individual’s gut microbial profile. This is what many of us have done the past several decades in functional medicine.

One may need a combination of botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Certain diagnostic tests may also be beneficial, including stool testing as well as food antibody testing. In addition, a number of studies have suggested a potential role for serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI) as a potential therapy for IBS.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Jennifer S. Labus, Emily B. Hollister, Jonathan Jacobs, Kyleigh Kirbach, Numan Oezguen, Arpana Gupta, Jonathan Acosta, Ruth Ann Luna, Kjersti Aagaard, James Versalovic, Tor Savidge, Elaine Hsiao, Kirsten Tillisch, Emeran A. Mayer. Differences in gut microbial composition correlate with regional brain volumes in irritable bowel syndrome. Microbiome, 2017; 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40168-017-0260-z


New study demonstrates magnesium’s role in fracture prevention

According to a new study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, researchers identified an association between low serum magnesium levels and an increased risk of fracture. Most patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia that want to optimize their bone health are told by their traditional doctor to take calcium and vitamin D, and most never recommend magnesium to their patients. All alternative and integrative practitioners know the essential role of magnesium in several cellular processes including it being a major component in bone (50%).

A magnesium insufficiency is seen in most patients, which can be crucial in addressing and preventing disability in middle-aged to elderly people resulting from fractures.

Bone fractures are one of the leading causes of disability especially among the elderly. It is well-known that calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and trace minerals play an important role in bone health.

In this study, researchers followed 2,245 middle-aged men over a 20-year period. They found that men with lower serum magnesium levels had an increased risk of fractures, specifically fractures of the hip. The risk of having a fracture was reduced by 44% in men with higher blood levels of magnesium. None of the 22 men who had very high magnesium levels (> 2.3 mg/dl) had a fracture during the follow-up period.

Unfortunately, we do not have a great way to measure magnesium status. For example, serum magnesium which was used in this study only represents only 1% of magnesium stores, so if this is low, they have a severe deficiency. Magnesium is homeostatically controlled in the serum and measuring serum magnesium levels provides many false negatives. By the time your serum is low, you are very deficient as the body cannot maintain the serum magnesium levels. Red blood cell magnesium is definitely better and can be routinely assessed by most labs and it’s surprising to see how many patients are deficient.

As a result, these findings confirm the importance of assessing and addressing magnesium status in all patients but in this case those at an increased risk prevention of fractures.

RBC levels of magnesium do correlate with magnesium intake, however, this may not be the case for the elderly, those with specific GI condition, and those on certain medications. In these individuals increasing the intake of foods rich in magnesium may not increase their blood magnesium levels. It is important to address any underlying issues as well as providing magnesium supplementation.

Most individuals do not experience any symptoms or least associate their symptoms with low magnesium. Since blood magnesium is not routinely tested by traditional doctors and hospitals, it is often missed.

It is also important to consider collagen supplementation was well as to prevent fractures as it does make up a significant component many tissues such as bone.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Setor Kwadzo Kunutsor, Michael Richard Whitehouse, Ashley William Blom, Jari Antero Laukkanen. Low serum magnesium levels are associated with increased risk of fractures: a long-term prospective cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology, 2017; DOI: 10.1007/s10654-017-0242-2


New study demonstrates bovine colostrum decreases intestinal permeability in athletes

There was an interesting study published 6 days ago in Nutrients on intestinal permeability and athletes. I shared a similar article last July in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on heavy exercise induced intestinal permeability in athletes.

When one thinks of nutritional supplements in athletes, they usually think of nutrients that increase enhance energy and sports performance. However, athletes commonly suffer from gut issues that are often not identifies or addressed. ‘Leaky gut’ occurs from dysfunction in the intestinal barrier.  This intestinal barrier in the gut is only one cell layer thick. It is essential for the absorption of nutrients and preventing large molecules and bacteria from getting into the blood stream.

This is a particular problem for those taking part in heavy exercise or any form of vigorous strength training, such as CrossFit athletes, strongman competitors, and powerlifters, which can lead to gut issues in athletes as well as more serious conditions like inflammatory bowel and autoimmune disorders.

Inthis study, researchers demonstrated that oral supplementation with colostrum decreased intestinal permeability which was seen with decreases of zonulin in stool samples.

This double-blind placebo-controlled study including 16 athletes during peak training of competition.  The study compared supplementation for 20 days with 500 mg of bovine colostrum or placebo. Gut permeability was assessed by a lactulose and mannitol absorption test and stool zonulin concentrations. Initial results identified that 6 of the 8 athletes in the colostrum group had increased intestinal permeability. After supplementation, the test results were within the normal range and were significantly lower than at baseline.

This is the first study to demonstrate that supplementation with bovine colostrum decreased and restored intestinal permeability in both urinary lactulose/mannitol ratio as well as fecal zonulin. Previous research demonstrated preventative colostrum supplementation on increased permeability associated with heavy exercise in athletes.

As a result, researchers demonstrated that colostrum supplementation decreased previously elevated intestinal permeability and was able to restore it within 3 weeks of supplementation.

These findings demonstrate the importance of colostrum in preventing leaky gut associated with heavy exercise but also as an important nutrients to consider for athletes. When working with athletes, there is often a disconnect between fitness and health. For those individuals that have a sensitivity to dairy, I would consider serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI) to normalize the gut microbiota and decrease gut permeability.The other advantage of this for athletes is the addition protein content with BCAAs levels superior to whey and provides high levels of IgG which reduces inflammation decreasing mucosal damage.

As a competitive powerlifter, I work with many of these athletes. Due to the stresses they put on their bodies and increased metabolic demands, many often have debilitating gut issues and inflammatory bowel diseases.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Halasa, M. et al. Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 8;9(4). pii: E370. doi: 10.3390/nu9040370.