Are athletes at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics coming down with leaky guts? At least one expert thinks so.

Professor Raymond Playford, a professor of medicine and gastroenterologist at Plymouth University, is speculating that several of the athletes who have been complaining of stomach issues may be suffering from something called leaky gut syndrome. The condition, as advocates explain, involves the mucus-made barrier lining our intestines becoming less thick, which in turn can impair how we absorb nutrients and prevent germs and other toxins from entering the bloodstream.

"It comes as little surprise that some athletes at the Olympics are experiencing stomach complaints,” Playford said in a statement released by the university. “The conditions are ideal for 'leaky gut' — hot temperatures and high levels of exercise are a heady combination for the condition.”

As further support, Playford noted that a study published earlier this June by his team found evidence that a combination of zinc and bovine colostrum (colostrum being the special fluid that all mammal moms release in the first few days after giving birth before they start producing milk) could help protect athletes’ guts from leaking.

“The good news is that our research has shown that there is a natural and readily-available solution to the problem," Playford said.

Though some Olympians have indeed come down with stomach woes, Playford’s theory should be presented with the appropriate context. Some scientists now accept that the gut’s lining can become dysfunctional and possibly even contribute to conditions like asthma and type-2 diabetes, but there still isn’t a clear consensus on whether leaky gut syndrome is a real disorder. And if it is, it's unknown what, if any, treatments can help alleviate it. Playford’s study, while promising, was also extremely small — involving a total of eight volunteers.

And while many alternative medicine practitioners and athletes have praised the benefits of bovine colostrum, there’s mixed evidence showing that it can improve people’s health or fitness any more than a glass of milk would.

In the meantime, there are probably much more obvious reasons for why Rio athletes are getting stomach sick — namely the raw sewage plentiful in Rio’s waters or contaminated food. The occasional case of appendicitis may also be to blame.