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Med Sport Sci. 2008;53:61-73. doi: 10.1159/000151550.

Intestinal barrier dysfunction, endotoxemia, and gastrointestinal symptoms: the 'canary in the coal mine' during exercise-heat stress?

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Department of Exercise Science, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebr., USA.


Reduced intestinal blood flow and high intestinal temperatures during exercise-heat stress can lead to intestinal barrier dysfunction. Such dysfunction may increase intestinal permeability to endotoxin. During exercise-heat stress, intestinal barrier dysfunction and endotoxemia can produce gastrointestinal symptoms and increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Such problems may be a warning sign ('canary in the coal mine') for the onset of exertional heat stroke. Failure to heed such a warning may culminate in problems indicative of exertional heat stroke such as circulatory collapse and multiple organ failure. Prior exposure to exercise-heat stress may, however, be a protective mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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