Reduction in heat-induced gastrointestinal hyperpermeability in rats by bovine colostrum and goat milk powders

C. Prosser, K. Stelwagen, R. Cummins, P. Guerin, N. Gill, C. Milne

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74 Scopus citations


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to one of three dietary groups [standard diet (Cont; n = 8), standard diet plus bovine colostrum powder (BColost 1.7 g/kg; n = 8), or goat milk powder (GMilk 1.7 g/kg; n = 8)] to determine the ability of these supplements to reduce gastrointestinal hyperpermeability induced by heat. Raising core body temperature of rats to 41.5°C increased transfer of 51Cr-EDTA from gut into blood 34-fold relative to the ambient temperature value (P < 0.05) in the Cont group of rats, indicative of increased gastrointestinal permeability. Significantly less (P < 0.01) 51Cr-EDTA was transferred into the blood of rats in either the BColost (27% of Cont) or GMilk group (10% of Cont) after heating, showing that prior supplementation with either bovine colostrum or goat milk powder significantly reduced the impact of heat stress on gastrointestinal permeability. The changes in the BColost group were not significantly different than those of the GMilk group. The potential mechanism of the protective effect of bovine colostrum and goat milk powders may involve modulation of tight junction permeability, because both powders were able to maintain transepithelial resistance in Madin Darby canine kidney cells challenged with EGTA compared with cells maintained in media only. The results show that bovine colostrum powder can partially alleviate the effects of hyperthermia on gastrointestinal permeability in the intact animal. Moreover, goat milk powder was equally as effective as bovine colostrum powder, and both may be of benefit in other situations where gastrointestinal barrier function is compromised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-654
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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