We all know that exercise is good for our body, mind, energy levels and disease resistance. But did you know that it’s also good for your gut bacteria? According to two new studies, both food and exercise have the same effect on the microbes that live in our intestines.
It’s the 100 trillion microrganisms in your gut, which come in at least 1000 species and contain nearly two million genes. This vast complexity of bacteria affect the health of your gut, as well as impacting your mood, immune system, metabolism and many diseases.
Th first study, published in the journal Gut Microbes, investigated the effects of exercise on the gut microbacteria of mice. Fecal matter was taken from mice who’d exercised and transplanted into mice who had and hadn’t exercised. The human study made 32 obese and lean participants do cardiovascular exercise for 30-60 minutes three times a week for six weeks.
The mice who had exercised had a better reaction to the transplant than the inactive mice. This showed the beneficial impact exercise of exercise on the gut. In the human study. Mice who received the fecal matter from the exercised mice also produced more butyrate, which reduces inflammation and promotes gut health.
In the human study, all the participants experienced an increase in butyrate levels, but levels declined when they resorted to sedentary behavior again. Interestingly, the lean participants experienced a greater increase in butyrate levels than the obese subjects, despite doing identical exercise regimes.
Both studies clearly show that exercise alone – regardless of diet – can positively affect gut bacteria.
If you want optimum health, you need diversity of gut bacteria and the good news is you can directly impact your levels:
I would never have known you could make your own - that's something I'm definitely doing to do now. Sounds very cheap to do too, and I live out in the sticks so no Polish shops for us around here!
Amber - most cities and towns now have a Polish shop and they sell excellent sauerkraut for not-much-at-all. You can also make it yourself; you just need a white cabbage, salt and some clean jars to ferment it in. That way it isn't pasteurised and you get all the good bacteria.
I keep hearing about gut microbes lately and it sounds like they're a very crucial aspect of our health which we hadn't previously realised. I eat lots of the above foods except saurekraut! (where would you buy that??)