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Acute L-glutamine supplementation does not improve gastrointestinal permeability, injury or microbial translocation in response to exhaustive high intensity exertional-heat stress

Ogden, Henry B., Fallowfield, Joanne L., Child, Robert B., Davison, Glen, Fleming, Simon C., Delves, Simon K., Millyard, Alison, Westwood, Caroline S., Layden, Joseph D. (2021) Acute L-glutamine supplementation does not improve gastrointestinal permeability, injury or microbial translocation in response to exhaustive high intensity exertional-heat stress. European Journal of Sport Science, 22 (12). pp. 1865-1876. ISSN 1746-1391. (doi:10.1080/17461391.2021.2001575) (KAR id:95025)


Purpose: Exertional-heat stress adversely distrupts (GI) barrier integrity and, through subsequent microbial translocation (MT), can result in potentially fatal exertional-heat stroke. Acute glutamine (GLN) supplementation is a potential nutritional countermeasure, although the practical value of current supplementation regimens is questionable.

Method: Ten males completed two high-intensity exertional-heat stress tests (EHST) involving running in the heat (40°C and 40% relative humidity) at lactate threshold to volitional exhaustion. Participants ingested GLN (0.3 g kg FFM−1) or a non-calorific placebo (PLA) one hour prior to the EHST. Venous blood was drawn pre-, post- and one-hour post-EHST. GI permeability was assessed using a serum dual-sugar absorption test (DSAT) and small intestinal epithelial injury using plasma Intestinal Fatty-Acid Binding Protein (I-FABP). MT was assessed using the Bacteroides/total 16S DNA ratio.

Results: Volitional exhaustion occurred after 22:19 ± 2:22 (minutes: seconds) in both conditions, during which whole-body physiological responses and GI symptoms were not different (p > 0.05). GI permeability (serum DSAT) was greater following GLN (0.043 ± 0.020) than PLA (0.034 ± 0.019) (p = 0.02; d = 0.47), but small intestine epithelial injury (I-FABP) increased comparably (p = 0.22; η2p  = 0.16) following the EHST in both trials (GLN Δ = 1.25 ± 0.63 ng ml−1; PLA Δ = 0.92 ± 0.44 ng ml−1). GI MT (Bacteroides/total 16S DNA ratio) was unchanged in either condition following the EHST (p = 0.43).

Conclusion: Acute low-dose (0.3 g kg−1 fat free mass) GLN supplementation ingested one hour before high-intesity exertional-heat stress worsened GI permeability, but did not influence either small intestinal epithilial injury or microbial translocation.

Abbreviations: ANOVA: Analysis of variance; CV: Coefficient of Variation; DSAT: Dual Sugar Absorption Test; EDTA: Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; EHST: Exertional Heat Stress Test; ELISA: Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay; FFM: Fat Free Mass; GI: Gastrointestinal; GFR: Glomerular Filtration Rate; GLN: Glutamine; HPLC: High Performance Liquid Chromatography; HR: Heart Rate; I-FABP: Intestinal Fatty-Acid Binding Protein; ISAK: International Society for the Advancement of Anthropometric Kinanthropometry; L/R: Lactulose-to-Rhamnose; LT: Lactate Threshold; MT: Microbial Translocation; mVAS: Modified Visual Analogue Scale; PBS: Phosphate-Buffered Saline; PLA: Placebo; qPCR: Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction; RH: Relative Humidity; RPE: Rate of Perceived Exertion; SD: Standard Deviation; SEM: Sensor Electronics Module; Tcore: Core Body Temperature; Tbody: Mean Body Temperature; Tskin: Mean Skin Temperature; TS: Thermal Sensation; V̇O2max: Maximal Oxygen Uptake.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17461391.2021.2001575
Uncontrolled keywords: Gut, exercise, endotoxin, heat stroke, sport
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Glen Davison
Date Deposited: 14 May 2022 09:56 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 15:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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