How the microbiota improves when you exercise

Active people have a more diverse and stable microbial community that is more resistant to invasion by pathogens.

The composition of the gut microbiota It is directly related to health. A diverse microbiota, with a good proportion of beneficial bacteriainfluences body weight and protects against obesity, a risk factor for many diseases.

There are many circumstances that can alter the microbiota: a diet rich in fats and sugarssleep poorly, drink antibiotics… But there is a factor that can improve its composition increasing The number of anti-inflammatory bacteria and reducing that of pro-inflammatory bacteria: the exercise.

altered microbiota or intestinal dysbiosis

The microbiota includes a large collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi, and viruses, among others). are around 500 to 1,000 species that coexist in the intestine and that have a great impact on human health.

There are several both endogenous and exogenous factors that influence its composition: birth of the newborn, genetics, the immune system, diet, antibiotics, infections, stress, drugs or environmental microbial exposures.

A clear and well-studied example is the one that causes in the intestinal flora a high-fat diet.

According to a review of studies by the University of Granada published in Nutrients, “a high-fat diet causes insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction, which can lead to dysbiosis of the gut microbiota”.

The “gut dysbiosis” is the term used to refer to an altered or deteriorated microbiota:

  • Consists of the reduced microbial diversity combined with the lost from beneficial bacteria.
  • For example, bacteria are lost Bacteroidetes. The bacteria Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes are the most abundant in the intestine, but when there is a greater proportion of Firmicutes more calories from food are used, so you gain more weight. Obese people have a higher proportion of Firmicutes what of Bacteroidetes.
  • In addition, this dysbiosis increases the gut permeability: the intestine becomes more permeable and harmful substances leak into the blood through it.

Thus, a diet rich in fat generates a microbial field in the intestine that favors the weight gain, obesity, inflammation and other metabolic diseases.

But exercise (obviously accompanied by a healthy diet) can reverse that field paid to the extra kilos.

How exercise affects the microbiota

“Physical activity can stimulate variations in the gut microbiota through numerous mechanisms, such as release of myokines (proteins that improve muscle function), the increased intestinal transit Hello secretion of neurotransmitters and hormonespoint out the authors of the report from the University of Granada.

Active people have more diverse, stable microbial community and better resists the invasion of pathogens. Exercise also helps restore intestinal dysbiosis caused, for example, by taking antibiotics.

For example, it has been shown that people who meet the World Health Organization exercise recommendations increase the level of bacteria Bacteroidetes. These bacteria are producers of butyrate, which is a source of energy for the intestinal mucosa and promotes the correct growth of the cells that line the colon.

The microbiota changes according to the exercise practiced

Another study from the University of Oviedo published in Frontiers in Physiology It has been shown that physical exercise increases anti-inflammatory bacteria and decreases the pro-inflammatory ones.

And not only that, researchers have verified in mice that the intestinal microbiota varies in depending on the type of physical exercise practicedwhich can be very helpful for prescribe exercise in a personalized way to prevent disease.

These are the main results of the study:

  • Mice that engaged in physical activity, both strength and endurance exercise, had fewer proinflammatory bacteria of the genus Ruminococcus compared to sedentary. They also had more anti-inflammatory bacteria from the family Parabacteroides.
  • The strength training increased the Clostridium cochleatuma bacterial species that is used in stool transplants to prevent infection by Clostridium difficile. The bacteria Clostridium difficile It causes an infection of the colon that leads to severe diarrhea and fever, and can lead to death if left unchecked.
  • The resistance exercise raised the standards of the genre Desulfovibrio which increases the protection of endothelial cells (they line the inner face of blood vessels) in aged mice, so this type of exercise helps keep arteries healthy.