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Probiotics for athletes

Probiotics for athletes

Intestinal health and immune function for athletes

During exercise, the body centralizes all available energy to the working muscle groups, and slows down other organs, such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Many athletes encounter various GI symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, flatulence and diarrhea. Another issue during sport performance is a compromised immune system with recurrent infections.

The human gut microbiota is a diverse and complex system including many different types of bacteria. A less diverse bacterial content and more harmful or pathogenic bacteria, a so-called bacterial dysbiosis, may also cause the above described GI-symptoms. By adding probiotics to the diet, athletes and sport practitioners can counteract the adverse GI-symptoms, which may arise due to either the exercise, or by bacterial dysbiosis, and promote a well-functioning GI-tract.

During exercise, the immune system can be negatively affected, and a so-called “open window” may arise and last between 2-8 hours. During this “open window”, the body is much more sensitive to immune disruption.

The adverse effects on intestinal health and immune function can be explained by bacterial dysbiosis, an increased intestinal permeability and by a suppression of several immune parameters in direct proximity to the exercise.

By adding well-characterized and clinically supported probiotics, both a healthier GI bacterial environment, an improved intestinal barrier and a well-regulated immune system is achieved.

Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 6595 is suitable for the physically active individual, promoting intestinal health and a strong immune function.

Short facts

  • Strain: Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 6595
  • Indication: Improved intestinal health & enhanced immune system for athletes
  • Documentation: Multiple preclinical and clinical studies

Figure 1. Lactobacillus plantarum 6595 is a clinically documented and patent protected strain. Several studies have shown that L. plantarum 6595 survives the passage through the GI tract, and attaches to the intestinal cells through a specific mannosedependent binding mechanism. The bacteria can thereby exert its effects on the intestinal wall, and the immune system.

Benefits of Lactobacillus plantarum 6595:

  1. Survives the passage through the GI-tract and attaches to intestinal cells1
    – main criterion to be active in the intestine
  2. Reduces gut permeability and translocation 6
  3. Supports a healthy immune system 6,8-10
  4. Resulting in a well-balanced GI environment

Supporting preclinical and clinical studies

Lactobacillus plantarum 6595 possess direct anti-microbial activity against pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria, E coli, Yersinia, Shigella and others 2.

Three separate preclinical studies3-5 have shown a reduced translocation and intestinal permeability in animals after addition of L. plantarum 6595. One of the studies investigated the effect of L. plantarum 6595 in oatmeal fiber vs an elemental diet (control) in an animal model of induced enterocolitis4, and found the L. plantarum 6595 to significantly decrease bacterial translocation to both blood and organs compared to control (Figure 2).

Reduced intestinal permeability was also confirmed in a clinical study where patients with acute pancreatitis had a significantly reduced bacterial translocation after intake of L. plantarum 6595 6.

The anti-inflammatory effects of L. plantarum 6595 have been shown both in vitro7 and in several clinical studies 6,8-10. The incidence of infections was investigated in two separate studies, including totally 172 subjects undergoing surgical interventions. The studies were randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled with the supplementation of 109 cfu/day 8-9. The risk of achieving infections was significantly decreased in both studies; 30% vs 10% (p=0.01) in study 1 and 45% vs 13% (p=0.02) in study 2 (Figure 3)

1. Johansson et al. (1993) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 59:15-20.

2. Jacobsen et al. (1999) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65:4949-4956.

3. Adawi et al. (1999) Micr. Ecol. in Health and Disease 11:47-54

4. Mao et al. (1997) Digestive Surgery 14: 284-291.

5. White et al. (2006) Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 42:19-23

6. Olah et al. (2002) Br. J. Surg. 89:1103-1107.

7. Pathmakanthan et al. (2004) J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 19:166-173.

8. Rayes et al. (2002a) Nutrition 18:609-615.

9. Rayes et al. (2002b) Transplantation 15:123-127.

10. Klarin et al. (2008) Crit. Care 12:R136

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 6595 is a patent protected strain manufactured by Probi® USA