Background: Gut barrier dysfunction contributes to several gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer, but factors associated with intestinal hyperpermeability have been minimally studied in humans. Methods: We tested the effects of two doses of calcium (1.0 or 2.0 g/d) on circulating biomarkers of gut permeability [antiflagellin and anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) Ig, measured via ELISA] over a 4-month treatment period among colorectal adenoma patients in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial (n193), and evaluated the factors associated with baseline levels of these biomarkers. Results: Baseline concentrations of anti-flagellin IgA and anti- LPS IgA were, respectively, statistically significantly proportionately higher by 11.8% and 14.1% among men, 31.3% and 39.8% among those with a body mass index 35 kg/m2, and 19.9% and 22.0% among those in the upper relative to the lowest sex-specific tertile of waist circumference. A combined permeability score (the summed optical densities of all four biomarkers) was 24.3% higher among women in the upper tertile of plasma C-reactive protein (Ptrend < 0.01).Wefound no appreciable effects of supplemental calcium on anti-flagellin or anti-LPS Igs. Conclusions: Our results suggest that (i) men and those with higher adiposity may have greater gut permeability, (ii) gut permeability and systemic inflammation may be directly associated with one another, and (iii) supplemental calcium may not modify circulating levels of gut permeability biomarkers within 4 months. Impact: Our findings may improve the understanding of the factors that influence gut permeability to inform development of treatable biomarkers of risk for colorectal cancer and other health outcomes.
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