The Marathon Endurance Study

Four weeks of probiotic supplementation reduces GI symptoms during a marathon race

SUMMARY

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study examines the role of probiotic administration in the prevention of C. difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) in elderly patients receiving antibiotic therapy.​
Results showed that Lab4 probiotics reduced the incidence of Clostridium difficile diarrhoea in these patients.​
46% of patients supplemented with Lab4 probiotics were positive for Clostridium difficile toxin compared to 78% of patients in the placebo group

Aim

This randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study aimed to assess the effect of Lab4 probiotic supplementation on gut symptoms, race time, intestinal permeability and immunological markers during marathon training and racing.

Method

Results

Gut symptoms during 28-day supplementation period

  • The number of moderate gut symptoms and number of days with these symptoms were significantly reduced in the last 14 days of Lab4 probiotic supplementation compared to the first two weeks (*P<0.05).
  • Gut Symptoms during the marathon race

  • A significant reduction in the severity of gut symptoms was seen in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (*P=0.01) during the final third of the race.
  • A signification association between gut symptoms during the race and reductions in running speed was observed, especially towards the later stage of the race.
  • Race speed

  • Reduction in the average speed from the first to the last third of the race was significantly greater in Group 1 (14.2% reduction) compared to Group 2 (8% reduction, *P=0.03).
  • Conclusion

    Lab4 probiotics supplementation protects endurance runners from gut disturbances during a marathon race and may help to maintain running pace during the latter stages of racing.

    Reference

    Pugh JN et al 2019. Four weeks of probiotic supplementation reduces GI symptoms during a marathon race. European Journal of Applied Physiology
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