Exercise Impacts Gut Microbial Diversity

The article, The Irish rugby team has exceptional guts: Exercise and diet impact gut microbial diversity, notes that:

“Exercise and diet impact gut microbial diversity, according to recent research. The gut microbiota of athletes is more diverse than that of controls and this diversity is linked to exercise and protein consumption in athletes. Athletes also have lower inflammatory and improved metabolic markers relative to controls.”

Fascinating! Exercise can increase the diversity of microbes in one’s gut, and more diverse microbes decrease inflammation. Wonderful!

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Clostridium clostridioforme

“High Clostridium clostridioforme which is associated with diabetes, low gut diversity, inflammatory conditions and human invasive and severe infections like bacteremia. Often it produces alcohol and other toxins, which are associated with inflammation, artery hardening, and histamine responses. Alcohol from microbial fermentation results in blockages of multiple enzyme pathways in the host including the degradation of histamine. When more histamine accumulates, subsequently, the host has more allergic reactions, congestion, rash, headaches or other manifestations of high histamine. These are all secondary to a dysbiotic and imbalanced gut.” (source)

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Akkermansia muciniphila

Akkermansia muciniphila, the only currently known species within genus Akkermansia, can reside in the human intestinal tract and is currently being studied for its effects on human metabolism. Recently performed studies in rodents have indicated that Akkermansia muciniphila in the intestinal tract may mediate obesity, diabetes, and inflammation. (source)

Akkermansia muciniphila:

Dominant mucus-layer species; may represent 3-5% of microbial community in healthy adults • Abundance associated with higher bacterial gene richness in the gut • Plays role glucose homeostasis • Abundance inversely correlated with IBD (both Crohn’s and UC) and appendicitis • Abundance inversely correlates with body weight in pregnant women and children • Some have reported decreased A. muciniphila in pre-diabetes and decreased Verrocomicrobiae abundance in T2D and pre-diabetes • Lower in autism (source)

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Faecalibacterium prausnitzii

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is very special. It is a gut barrier and immune system warrior and known as a keystone ‘Peacekeeper‘ (Nature 2015, fantastic photos).You can see above it is a red-orange and found in robustly in concentration of hundreds in 94% of tested healthy subjects. In clinical trials, it is low where diseases are present and high in disease-free people. It is a harbinger for bad health if it and several other ‘ancestral core’ species are depleted. (source)

From Among Trillions of Microbes in the Gut, a Few Are Special:

In the mid-2000s Harry Sokol, a gastroenterologist at Saint Antoine Hospital in Paris, was surprised by what he found when he ran some laboratory tests on tissue samples from his patients with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the gut. The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease remains a mystery. Some have argued that it results from a hidden infection; others suspect a proliferation of certain bacteria among the trillions of microbes that inhabit the human gut. But when Sokol did a comparative DNA analysis of diseased sections of intestine surgically removed from the patients, he observed a relative depletion of just one common bacterium, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Rather than “bad” microbes prompting disease, he wondered, could a single “good” microbe prevent disease?

Sokol transferred the bacterium to mice and found it protected them against experimentally induced intestinal inflammation. And when he subsequently mixed F. prausnitzii with human immune cells in a test tube, he noted a strong anti-inflammatory response. Sokol seemed to have identified a powerfully anti-inflammatory member of the human microbiota.

• In a healthy gut, represents more than 5% of the total bacterial population and is comprised of only one species • Abundance associated with higher bacterial gene richness in the gut • Controls inflammation through inflammatory-cytokine inhibition; lower counts reported in IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), although increases have been noted • Appears to protect against glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes; possibly due to anti-inflammatory effects and/or positive effects on insulin resistance status (source)

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