Prebiotic correction of gut microbiota as an effective method of nutritional prevention of trace element imbalances in intake of high doses of vitamin-mineral complexes by elite-level athletes

The objective. Assessment of the influence of prebiotic correction of gut microbiota on the vitamin-mineral status of professional athletes who take high doses of vitamin-mineral complexes (VMC).

Patients and methods. Dynamic examination included 14 elite-level athletes from men’s first team of a professional basketball league aged 21–34 years. During the first season 2007/2008 (6 months) the players received high doses of VMC, during the second season 2008/2009 (6 months) a prebiotic complex Eubicor was additionally used in a recommended dosage. In all participants, detection of 20 trace elements in hair, examination of group В vitamin levels in blood, and also bacteriological assessment of gut microbiota were performed.

Results. Significant direct correlations were found between the contents of bifidobacteria and vitamin В1 levels (r = 0.74; p < 0.05), between the contents of lactose positive E. coli and the levels of iron (r = 0.72; p < 0.05), cobalt (r = 0.65; p < 0.05), and also between the contents of yeast-like fungi and selenium levels (r = 0.62; p < 0.05). Also, a significant reverse correlation was found between the contents of haemolyzing E. coli and magnesium levels (r = –0.78; p < 0.05).

Conclusion. Enrichment of the diet of basketball players with prebiotic fibers in the second season permitted not only to avoid the first-season’s negative tendency to formation of mineral imbalances and subnormal provision with group B vitamins, but also, due to optimization of qualitative, quantitative and, probably, functional characteristics of gut microbiota, to enhance a positive effect of VMC intake on the vitamin-mineral status of professional athletes.

Key words: vitamin-mineral complexes, gut microbiota, trace element imbalances, prebiotics.