London, Aug 18 (IANS) A condition called “leaky gut” syndrome could be responsible for some of the reported cases of stomach problem among competitors at the Rio Olympics, suggests a British gastro-intestinal expert.
“It comes as little surprise that some athletes at the Olympics are experiencing stomach complaints. The conditions are ideal for ‘leaky gut’ — hot temperatures and high levels of exercise are a heady combination for the condition,” said Raymond Playford, Professor of Medicine from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry in England.
Leaky gut is a condition where the thin mucosal barrier of the gut, which plays a role in absorbing nutrients and preventing large molecules and germs from the gut entering the blood stream, becomes less effective.
It is a particular problem for those taking part in heavy exercise or who are active in hot conditions.
It can lead to ‘heat stroke’ (especially in military personnel deployed to countries with high temperatures) and gut symptoms in athletes.
The combination of intense physical exertion and warm environments at the Olympic Games could well be antagonising leaky gut in participating athletes.
“The good news is that our research has shown that there is a natural and readily-available solution to the problem,” Playford noted in a university statement on Thursday.
Earlier this year, Playford led a research team which published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study claimed that zinc carnosine (a health food product), taken alone or with bovine colostrum, may have value for athletes affected by ‘leaky gut’.