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Gut. 2014 Dec;63(12):1913-20. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306541. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity.

Author information

  • 1Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Microbiology Department, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 2Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Alimentary Health Ltd, Cork, Ireland.
  • 3Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland.
  • 4Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 5Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland.
  • 6Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 7Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Microbiology Department, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 8Irish Rugby Football Union, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 9Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland.
  • 10Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 11Microbiology Department, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 12Department of Medicine, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  • 13Department of Medicine, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Department of Sport Medicine, Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 14Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Department of Medicine, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Atlantia Food Clinical Trials, University College Cork, Cork.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The commensal microbiota, host immunity and metabolism participate in a signalling network, with diet influencing each component of this triad. In addition to diet, many elements of a modern lifestyle influence the gut microbiota but the degree to which exercise affects this population is unclear. Therefore, we explored exercise and diet for their impact on the gut microbiota.

DESIGN:

Since extremes of exercise often accompany extremes of diet, we addressed the issue by studying professional athletes from an international rugby union squad. Two groups were included to control for physical size, age and gender. Compositional analysis of the microbiota was explored by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Each participant completed a detailed food frequency questionnaire.

RESULTS:

As expected, athletes and controls differed significantly with respect to plasma creatine kinase (a marker of extreme exercise), and inflammatory and metabolic markers. More importantly, athletes had a higher diversity of gut micro-organisms, representing 22 distinct phyla, which in turn positively correlated with protein consumption and creatine kinase.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results provide evidence for a beneficial impact of exercise on gut microbiota diversity but also indicate that the relationship is complex and is related to accompanying dietary extremes.

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

PMID:
25021423
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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