By means of a 5-week vitamin B-complex .supplementation, associations between indices of vitamin B1, B2, and B6, status (activation coefficients [AC] for erythrocyte transketolase, glutathione reductase, and aspartate aminotransferase) and exercise-induced blood lactate concentration were studied. Subjects, 42 physically active college students (18–32 yrs), were randomized into vitamin (n=22) and placebo (n=20) groups. Before the supplementation there were no differences in ACs or basal enzyme activities between the groups. The ACs were relatively high, suggesting marginal vitamin status. In the vitamin group, all three ACs were lower (p<0.0001) after supplementation: transketolase decreased from l. 16 (1.14–1.18) (mean and 95% confidence interval) to 1.08 (1.06–1.10); glutathione reductase decreased from 1.33 (1.28–1.39) to 1 .I4 (1.1 1–1.17); and aspartate aminotransferase decreased from 2.04 (1.94–2.14) to 1.73 (1.67–1.80). No changes were found after placebo. Despite improved indices of vitamin status, supplementation did not affect exercise-induced blood lactate concentration. Hence no association was found between ACs and blood lactate. It seems that marginally high ACs do not necessarily predict altered lactate metabolism.
Mikael Fogelholm, Inkeri Ruokonen, Juha T. Laakso, Timo Vuorimaa and Jaakko-Juhani Himberg
Riina A. Kekkonen, Tommi J. Vasankari, Timo Vuorimaa, Tari Haahtela, Ilkka Julkunen and Riitta Korpela
Heavy exercise is associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections. Strenuous exercise also causes gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. In previous studies probiotics have reduced respiratory tract infections and GI symptoms in general populations including children, adults, and the elderly. These questions have not been studied in athletes before. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of probiotics on the number of healthy days, respiratory infections, and GI-symptom episodes in marathon runners in the summer. Marathon runners (N = 141) were recruited for a randomized, double-blind intervention study during which they received Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) or placebo for a 3-mo training period. At the end of the training period the subjects took part in a marathon race, after which they were followed up for 2 wk. The mean number of healthy days was 79.0 in the LGG group and 73.4 in the placebo group (P = 0.82). There were no differences in the number of respiratory infections or GI-symptom episodes. The duration of GI-symptom episodes in the LGG group was 2.9 vs. 4.3 d in the placebo group during the training period (P = 0.35) and 1.0 vs. 2.3 d, respectively, during the 2 wk after the marathon (P = 0.046). LGG had no effect on the incidence of respiratory infections or GI-symptom episodes in marathon runners, but it seemed to shorten the duration of GI-symptom episodes.