As science conducts thousands of studies revealing the importance of our human gut-microbiome, more people realize that the health, care and feeding of our microbial allies provides a ginormous, beneficial influence on health and life experience.
‘Bug’ Power! So we’re well aware that the 100 trillion ‘bugs’ (bacteria, fungi, yeasts, virus, etc.) that share our bodies are indispensable to our brain health, immune function, and cellular metabolic activities. Just in case we needed yet another reason to break out the ole roller skates or dust off the ole Hula Hoop, science now informs us that exercise is critically important to our gut microbial health.
Yes, this means that if a person spent less on probiotic supplements and did a few runs on the ole Whamo Slip ‘n Slide (before it gets too cold), they would improve their gut health even more significantly.
Rugby-Bugby. Just a couple of years ago, an Irish study compared the gut health of elite rugby athletes and discovered that they had much healthier guts, mental health, and immune function than sedentary folks, [despite the fact that the sedentary control group drank more top-o’-the-mornin’ stout.] While open to interpretation that rugby is essential to health, or that the athletic diet is different, the Emerald Isle study successfully sparked many other studies to prove that exercise improves the gut microbiome and its impact on overall health.
Three Studies Concur. Rather than focus on scrummages, chuckers, curling, or bunsens; Science turned to wee-mousies in a wheel. The Rutgers University Scarlet Knights (replaced Chanticleer The Rooster) study discovered that exercise increased butyrate – the short-chain fatty acid produced by upper G.I. tract bacteria that supports both bifidobacteria and the colonocytes that perform bowel motility exercises. Seems that exercise begets exercise and inspires bowel motions while cleverly preventing bowel cancer. There was a 40% increase in several probiotic species. In humans, this can also mean less intestinal bloating.
Not to be outdone on the athletic or scientific fields, the Colorado University Buffaloes are betting that their affirming/duplicating study now underway based on the hypothesis that exercise plus pre-biotic fibers will prove to provide an even greater health advantage. Ya think?
Leave it to the Europeans to cut to the chase and conduct a significant study involving human beings and thus avoiding the tedium of giving wee-enemas to wee mousies. The University of Madrid studied more than 100 men and women separating them into two groups – those who exercised less than 3-hours a week and those who exercise a manageable 3-5 hours a week. (No athletes, just regular folks.) The results were phenomenal with a 400% increase in resident bifidobacteria in the exercise group.
One extrapolation of the Madrid study is a significant improvement in immune performance. And to the great pleasure of those who depend on funding for research, they discovered an anomaly. Seems that women benefitted more profoundly than men. One hypothesis could be that women’s bodies provide a more nurturing environment? Science will find out!
Vagus Nerve & Exercise. For many years, medical science has observed a direct correlation between exercise and intestinal symptoms and diseases. Exercise directly impacts the Vagus Nerve that regulates gut-performance (and a thousand other things). The Vagus Nerve is cited as the “direct connection” for gut/brain and brain/gut communications. Of course it’s too early to actually make a recommendation that a person should exercise to improve gut health. Seems there’s not yet an expensive drug to do the same thing only with side effects.
Health Triad: Immune System, Gut Microboime, Exercise. Medical science also cites that the innate immunity (different from acquired immunity) is improved due to release of muscle-related cytokines called myokines (messengers on immune cells such as monocytes and macrophages involved in inflammation and ultimately cancer). Bottom line, the immune system, the gut microbiome and the exercise phenomenon all share a part of the human metabolic health. This is but one reason why exercise is a cancer-deterrent. And par for the course, it will require many years of consideration before a gastroenterologist or oncologist says, “Hey, get off your duff and exercise because it’ll make you healthy and you won’t need a colostomy bag or some gut microbiome destroying chemo.”
Conclusion: Here’s the takeaway.
Exercise necessary for healthy gut microbiome. Healthy gut microbiome necessary for healthy body. Healthy body necessary for happy life. Love necessary for a happy life.
WellnessWiz Interpretation: Exercise Love & Love Exercise!