Athletic performance: Is it in your gut?

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Nature Medicine published today an interesting article showing athletic performance nay be related to a bacteria found in the gut of marathonists. Jonathan Scheinman from the Department of Genetics, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, at Harvard University, and the company Fitbiomics and colleagues analyzed stool samples of 15 runners a week before and after they competed in the 2015 Boston Marathon found unusually high levels of one particular microbe compared to 10 non-athletes. Levels of the microbe in question, Veillonella, spiked after an intense workout and bloomed even more after the marathon.
Mice were treated with Veillonella, resulting in significantly increased exhaustive tread-mill run time.

The explanation is that with Veillonella bacteria or any other aspect tranforming lactate into propionate improves athletic performance. Lactate causes fatigue and propionate increase the heart rate and maximum rate of oxygen consumption, also raising the resting energy expenditure and lipid oxidation in fasted humans.

Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-019-0485-4


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