University protects Commonwealth Games athletes against runny tums
Release Date 15 October 2010
Some athletes at the Commonwealth Games in India were protected from bouts of travellers' diarrhoea thanks to a product developed by the University of Reading.
Research by the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences has been developed into pastilles that ease or prevent a runny tummy. They were supplied to the England badminton and bowls sides and to Team Wales.
The new product, Bimuno TRAVELAID, produced by Clasado Ltd, is a prebiotic formulated with the specific needs of holidaymakers and business travellers in mind.
Clinical trials showed that, for individuals visiting areas which are considered hot spots for travellers' diarrhoea, taking a teaspoon (5g) of prebiotics per day while abroad decreased the incidence and severity of bouts of the condition, and when individuals did experience it, they recovered more quickly.
Prebiotics provide a natural way of increasing the number and activity of the beneficial bacteria already resident in the colon. They make their way through our digestive system ‘feeding' the good bacteria so they grow and flourish, keeping bad bacteria at bay. Prebiotics are found naturally in onions, asparagus and chicory roots.
Glenn Gibson, Professor of Food Microbial Sciences at the University of Reading, said: "We know that sports people travelling the world can't afford to experience a bout of diarrhoea or gastroenteritis at crucial times such as a major competition. The gut is the biggest immune organ in the body so if you take prebiotics you are likely to get some positive effect on immunity.
"Taking a simple supplement to help prevent diarrhoea may soon become part of our normal holiday routine. The great thing about prebiotics is they are safe and have no side effects, whereas taking medication like antibiotics when you get diarrhoea can damage your gut flora even more."
The research has also been used to develop products that ease the effects of irritable bowel syndrome and boost the body's immune system.
The researchers are currently carrying out a further controlled trial in elite athletes which is ongoing - interested volunteers should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more, visit www.bimuno.com.
For more information please contact Rona Cheeseman, press officer, on 0118 378 7388 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors
The product, Bimuno TRAVELAID is made by Clasado Ltd, which has been developing products to revolutionise the concept of ‘healthy eating for all', an extension of the proven concept of general health being linked to the digestive system and diet - http://www.clasado.com/
In a peer reviewed, published clinical trial involving holidaymakers travelling to destinations at risk of TD, and comparing Bimuno against placebo (inactive product):
- 8 out of 10 holidaymakers on Bimuno had a diarrhoea free holiday4
- Of those with diarrhoea symptoms, the duration was half compared to placebo
- The duration and intensity of abdominal pain was significantly reduced compared to placebo4
Travellers' diarrhoea is one of the most common conditions experienced by individuals travelling to a developing country. Between 20-50% of travellers are struck down by it and it has been estimated that the disorder can affect over 11 million people annually. In 90% of patients who contract travellers' diarrhoea symptoms occur within the first two weeks of travel. Studies have shown that bacteria and some viruses are the most common cause of travellers' diarrhoea.