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Exercise influences gut microbiota composition, enriches health-promoting bacteria

18 Feb 2017
Rigorous running may not make your heart any healthier than a longer walk

The types and doses of exercise, as well as breaks in sedentary behaviour, may impact the composition of the gut microbiota, a new study reports. Data show that even the minimum level of exercise, as recommended by the WHO, can enrich health-promoting species in the gut microbiota.

A total of 40 women between the ages of 18 and 40 and were premenopausal were recruited. Participants had BMI between 20 to 25 kg/m2. Participants were either sedentary (did not engage in at least three 30-minute moderate exercises per week) or active (engaged in at least 3 hours of exercise per week).

Stool samples were collected from the participants and were used to determine the microbiota composition. Researchers performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify species and quantitative PCR to determine corresponding abundances.

Of the women, 21 were sedentary and 19 were active. Aside from levels of physical activity (p=0.039), there were no significant anthropometric differences between the groups.

In terms of bacterial diversity, no significant differences between the active and sedentary groups were found. In terms of abundance, the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Tenericutes were the most common phyla found with abundances of 54, 44, 0.96 and 0.39 percent, respectively.

Furthermore, the Acidobacteria, Spirochaetes and Elusimicrobia phyla were found only in sedentary women. There were no significant differences observed between the two groups in terms of bacterial phyla, but there was a modest trend of increased Fermicutes (p=0.085) and Bacteroidetes (p=0.076) in active women.

On the other hand, active women showed enriched populations of the following bacterial species relevant to health: Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (p=0.029), Akkermansia muciniphila (p=0.002) and Roseburia hominis (p=0.005).

The findings show that exercises and breaks in sedentary behaviour influence the gut microbiota and enrich the population of health-relevant bacterial species.

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Most Read Articles
Elvira Manzano, 5 days ago
Bisphosphonates have proven antifracture efficacy and remain to be the cornerstone of osteoporosis treatment. However, a drug holiday is of particular importance with bisphosphonates due to some signals with long-term use of the drug, including rare incidence of atypical femoral fracture (AFF) and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), says a leading endocrinologist at AFOS 2017.
2 days ago
Breast cancer patients have notably different microbiomes in the local breast tissue and urinary tract, a recent study reveals. Particularly, species in the Methylobacterium genus are reduced in the local breast tissue while the urinary tract is enriched in gram-positive bacteria.
Pearl Toh, 13 Oct 2017
Women with higher plasma tryptophan concentrations were less likely to have poor sleep quality during pregnancy, especially among those with anxiety symptoms, according to the GUSTO* study.
Tristan Manalac, 2 days ago
Statin use, particularly in smokers, obese patients and nondiabetics, has a strong and dose-dependent association with decreasing risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), according to a new study.