Intestinal fatty-acid binding protein and gut permeability responses to exercise

Daniel Scott March, Tania Marchbank, Raymond Playford, Arwel Wyn Jones, Rhys Thatcher, Glen Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (SciVal)
196 Downloads (Pure)


Intestinal cell damage due to physiological stressors (e.g. heat, oxidative, hypoperfusion/ischaemic) may contribute to increased intestinal permeability. The aim of this study was to assess changes in plasma intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) in response to exercise (with bovine colostrum supplementation, Col, positive control) and compare this to intestinal barrier integrity/permeability (5 h urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio, L/R). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 18 males completed two experimental arms (14 days of 20 g/day supplementation with Col or placebo, Plac). For each arm participants performed two baseline (resting) intestinal permeability assessments (L/R) pre-supplementation and one post-exercise following supplementation. Blood samples were collected pre- and post-exercise to determine I-FABP concentration. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed an arm × time interaction for L/R and I-FABP (P < 0.001). Post hoc analyses showed urinary L/R increased post-exercise in Plac (273% of pre, P < 0.001) and Col (148% of pre, P < 0.001) with post-exercise values significantly lower with Col (P < 0.001). Plasma I-FABP increased post-exercise in Plac (191% of pre-exercise, P = 0.002) but not in the Col arm (107%, P = 0.862) with post-exercise values significantly lower with Col (P = 0.013). Correlations between the increase in I-FABP and L/R were evident for visit one (P = 0.044) but not visit two (P = 0.200) although overall plots/patterns do appear similar for each. These findings suggest that exercise-induced intestinal cellular damage/injury is partly implicated in changes in permeability but other factors must also contribute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-941
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2017


  • strenuous exercise
  • intestinal permeability
  • core temperature
  • bovine colostrum
  • cell damage
  • cellular injury
  • urinary L/R


Dive into the research topics of 'Intestinal fatty-acid binding protein and gut permeability responses to exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this