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Zinc Plus Bovine Colostrum May Help Protect Against Leaky Gut

“Leaky gut” is caused when the lining of the gut is affected by heat stress, intense exercise, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The junctions between the epithelial cells of the intestines are compromised and toxic bacterial components move from the gut into the blood. A recent study suggests that zinc carnosine supplements with or without bovine colostrum may help protect against leaky gut caused by intense exercise.

Participants in the study included eight people who were given either 37.5 mg of zinc carnosine, 10 grams of colostrum, zinc plus colostrum, or a placebo twice daily for 14 days. The initial study period was followed by a two-week washout period, after which the participants switched interventions. This cycle repeated until all of the participants completed each of the different interventions.

The researchers noted that when people exercised, it resulted in an increase in body temperature of 2 degrees Celsius as well as a three-fold increase in gut permeability. However, when the participants took the zinc or colostrum supplements for two weeks, these increases were reduced by 70%. When the participants took both zinc and colostrum together, results were noted in two days.

Researchers from Plymouth University led the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 29, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The human body cannot make zinc, so it’s important to get it from food and supplement sources. Zinc can be found in many foods, including oysters, beef, crab, fortified cereals, lobster, beans, yogurt, nuts, milk, chicken, cheese, and oatmeal. You can also consume zinc in a supplement form, but be careful not to take too much. Intakes of greater than 150 mg per day have been associated with negative side effects, such as a weakened immune system.

Bovine colostrum is cow’s milk that is secreted soon after they give birth. It is rich in immunoglobins, cytokines, and growth factors. Previous studies suggest that it may help boost the immune system, help with injuries and nervous system damage, improve mood and sense of wellbeing, and also fight inflammation of the colon.

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