The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on in vivo immunity following prolonged exercise: A randomised controlled trial

Arwel Wyn Jones, Daniel Scott March, Rhys Thatcher, Bethan Diment, Neil Walsh, Glen Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (SciVal)
124 Downloads (Pure)


Bovine colostrum (COL) has been advocated as a nutritional countermeasure to exercise-induced immune dysfunction, but there is a lack of research with clinically relevant in vivo measures.

To investigate the effects of COL supplementation on in vivo immunity following prolonged exercise using experimental contact hypersensitivity (CHS) with the novel antigen diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP).

In a double-blind design, 31 men were randomly assigned to COL (20 g/day) or placebo (PLA) for 58 days. Participants ran for 2 h at 60% maximal aerobic capacity on day 28 and received a primary DPCP exposure (sensitisation) 20 min after. On day 56, participants received a low-dose-series DPCP challenge to elicit recall of in vivo immune-specific memory (quantified by skinfold thickness 24 and 48 h later). Analysis of the dose–response curves allowed determination of the minimum dose required to elicit a positive response (i.e., sensitivity).

There was no difference in summed skinfold thickness responses between COL and PLA at 24 h (p = 0.124) and 48 h (p = 0.405). However, sensitivity of in vivo immune responsiveness was greater with COL at 24 h (p 
COL blunts the prolonged exercise-induced decrease in clinically relevant in vivo immune responsiveness to a novel antigen, which may be a mechanism for reduced illness reports observed in the previous studies. These findings also suggest that CHS sensitivity is highly relevant to host defence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2019


  • running
  • host defence
  • contact hypersensitivity
  • diphenylcyclopropenone
  • whole integrated immune response
  • Host defence
  • Diphenylcyclopropenone
  • Running
  • Whole integrated immune response
  • Contact hypersensitivity
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Time
  • Young Adult
  • Colostrum/immunology
  • Exercise
  • Cattle
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Pregnancy
  • Animals
  • Adolescent
  • Immune Tolerance/drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on in vivo immunity following prolonged exercise: A randomised controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this