Exercise and the microbiome

A few months ago an article was published in the journal Gut that investigated the connection between the microbiome and exercise.  In the study, 40 elite rugby players and 46 healthy men who were not professional athletes with similar body mass indexes from Ireland were studied.  Stool and blood samples were taken from each person, as well as a survey on their exercise and eating habits.

The scientists discovered that:

1) Blood samples showed that athletes had lower inflammatory markers relative to the non-athletes.
2) Athletes had a higher diversity of gut microbiota than non-athletes.
3) Several specific taxa were abundant in the athletes' guts, including Akkermansia, which has been implicated in gut health in mice.
4) Exercise and consumption of protein was associated with greater gut microbiome diversity.

This is a very interesting study, and one of the first that makes a connection between exercise and biodiversity.

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