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can exercise affect your microbiome and overall gut health?


Exercise Microbiome

If you have DYSBIOSIS (a MICROBIOME that has poor ratios of “good” organisms to “bad”), it will not only mess you up in more ways than you can imagine, it’s almost a given that you’ll be visited by it’s equally ugly identical twin — INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY (she usually goes by her nickname; Leaky Gut). 

As far as diet goes, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that what one eats is intimately related to one’s microbiome.  For instance, SUGAR in its various forms is what feeds dysbiosis, even though it’s almost always prescription medications (HERE or HERE) that set the gears in motion.

A collaboration between the University of Illinois and the Mayo Clinic published two studies late last year showing how important exercise is as far as maintaining GUT HEALTH is concerned.  In the first, scientists took two groups of mice that had been genetically bred so they had no bacteria in their gut, and then did FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS into them, the first from mice that had been vigorously exercised and the second from mice that were sedentary. 

The study, from the journal Gut Microbes (Exercise Training-Induced Modification of the Gut Microbiota Persists After Microbiota Colonization and Attenuates the Response to Chemically-Induced Colitis in Genotobiotic Mice) concluded that irrespective of diet or antibiotic use…..

“Exercise reduces the risk of inflammatory disease by modulating a variety of tissue and cell types, including those within the gastrointestinal tract. Recent data indicates that exercise can also alter the gut microbiota.  We observed that microbial transplants from donor mice led to differences in microbiota diversity, metabolite profiles, colon inflammation, and body mass in recipient mice, five weeks after colonization.

We also demonstrate that colonization of mice with a gut microbiota from exercise-trained mice led to an attenuated response to chemical colitis, evidenced by reduced colon shortening, attenuated mucus depletion and augmented expression of cytokines involved in tissue regeneration. Exercise-induced modifications in the gut microbiota can mediate host-microbial interactions with potentially beneficial outcomes for the host.”

In English, the germ-free mice that received transplanted feces from exercised mice had more SCFA’s (Short Chain Fatty Acids; chiefly butyrate), which are the nutritional compounds that help maintain INTESTINAL HOMEOSTASIS), reduce gut inflammation (thereby reducing SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION), and are used by bacteria as an energy source.  Oh, and don’t forget that these mice had less chance of developing INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE as well. 

In the other study (Exercise Alters Gut Microbiota Composition and Function in Lean and Obese Humans); this one published in last November’s issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers looked at thin women -vs- obese women who were sedentary when the study began, but agreed to “vigorously” exercise thee days a week, for between a half hour and hour, for six weeks.  After six weeks the women went back to being sedentary.  Throughout the study the women’s diets remained unchanged, with fecal samples being taken at various times throughout.

“Diversity analysis revealed that exercise-induced alterations of the gut microbiota were dependent on obesity status. Exercise increased fecal concentrations of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in lean, but not obese, participants. Exercise-induced shifts in metabolic output of the microbiota paralleled changes in bacterial genes and taxa capable of SCFA production. Lastly, exercise-induced changes in the microbiota were largely reversed once exercise training ceased.  These findings suggest that exercise training induces compositional and functional changes in the human gut microbiota that are dependent on obesity status, independent of diet and contingent on the sustainment of exercise.”

While this study showed that it is certainly harder for OBESE women to get lean (they did not boost SCFA’s), since they increased the number of species of bacteria that produce more SCFA’s — particularity butyrate — it was probably just a matter of time before these species started producing more of it (the study only lasted six weeks). 

Furthermore, if you were to add a healthy diet to the equation, odds are you will turn the crank and turn it rapidly as far as increasing both the number of species of “good” bacteria, the gross numbers of “good” bacteria, as well as the metabolic by-products they feed on (SCFA’s).  Want to see what the pinnacle of truth and knowledge (Wikipedia) says about butyrate?

“Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the mammalian colon. Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die. SCFAs, which include butyrate, are produced by beneficial colonic bacteria (probiotics) that feed on, or ferment prebiotics, which are plant products that contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. SCFAs benefit the colon by increasing energy production and cell proliferation, and may protect against colon cancer. 

Butyrate has been shown to be a critical mediator of the colonic inflammatory response and possesses both preventive and therapeutic potential to counteract inflammation-mediated ulcerative colitis (UC) and colorectal cancer. The reason why butyrate is an energy source for normal colon cells and induces apoptosis [cellular death] in colon cancer cells, is due to the Warburg effect in cancer cells, which leads to butyrate not being properly metabolized.”

Take a guess as to what causes the WARBURG EFFECT?  The very thing that feeds dysbiosis —- sugar!  It’s not like any of this is really news folks (HERE).  I have at least half a dozen posts on FMT showing through peer-review that scientists have been doing this very thing for decades.  Which is why as cool as FMT is, studies like this one prove that even though they might be an amazing option that chronically sick people could use to jump-start their health, a reversion to old dietary habits means that good results will be short-lived. 

Studies like these also help explain why foods with zero calories (DIET SODA for instance) can actually cause obesity simply because they destroy Gut Health.  Be sure and take a gander at YESTERDAY’S POST, where I show you how to get a good workout in 10 or 15 minutes.  

And if you are interested in seeing how Gut Health and FMT factor into the protocol that I give many of my chronically ill patients to study (remember, ‘informational purposes’ only), simply CLICK THE LINK.  Be sure to get this in front of those you love and care about most by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK.


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