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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

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

PMID:
25021423
DOI:
10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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