Saturday, January 28, 2023

Gut flora imbalance may affect desire to exercise, says study

An experimental model with rodents demonstrated that a lack of intestinal flora can reduce physical performance by up to 50%.

The bacteria Coprococcus eutectus and Eubacterium rectal are the ones that most affect the generation of dopamine. Photo: shutterstock

Science is increasingly discovering a connection between the bacteria that humans carry in their intestines and the rest of the body. Apart from being necessary for the body to assimilate nutrients, they are also related to the state of health in general. Some of these microbes are linked to depression, and other studies have linked greater bacterial diversity to better mental health.

Researchers in the United States have recently discovered a link between the gut microbiome and physical performance, particularly the willingness to exercise. The work has been done in rats, but, if it can be replicated in people, they may have found an explanation for laziness.

ThisLab scientists at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States had a different initial objective: they wanted to confirm that intestinal bacteria affect performance when doing a physical activity, as several recent works indicate (with rats and also with elite athletes). On the other hand, much progress has been made in recent years in understanding the scientific basis of the high that runners and many other athletes claim to get when they exercise. Do bacteria have anything to do with this emotional high? Also, does having a certain microbiome encourage going out for runs more?


To answer these questions, the team led by Dr. Christoph Theis, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, collected 200 mice from different lineages. He made them run, spin on a wheel or walk on a treadmill, noting that they displayed great variety in their performance. When they were classified based on their genetic inheritance, they found no correlation between sports performance and genes. So they studied other possible causes: metabolism (the set of metabolites produced by the organism), its metabolism or its intestinal microbiome. showed no correlation with the degree of the first two physical activityBut yes intestinal bacteria,

The role of the gut microbiome was explored with a radical strategy: Give a cocktail of antibiotics and see what happens. As is known, treatment of bacterial infections with some antibiotics has the secondary effect of killing the bacteria. flora intestines, What they saw is that the medicated rats performed 50% less than before and much worse than their peers with whom they shared the profile. He noticed that many of them did not even go near the treadmill or get on the wheel.

release of dopamineThis was already known during and after exercise, which is part of the reward neural system. What is new is its role in motility and its relationship to bacteria. “Regulates the level of the microbiome dopamine In the brain,” Thais reiterates. “When you exercise, its levels increase in the brain, creating a feeling of pleasure and reward, often referred to as a runner’s high. However, in the absence of a microbiome, this regeneration dopamine becomes impaired and, therefore, the rewarding sensation of exercise is diminished”. And that’s what they saw with people who were treated with antibiotics who lost motivation.

Bacteria linked to dopamine activation

The researchers wanted to identify which bacteria are best for activation, production and release dopamine, In his detective work, he played with antibiotic cocktails, starting with broad-spectrum compounds and gradually narrowing them down. Thus, they were able to identify two bacteria, Coprococcus euactus and Eubacterium rectale, two regular commensals of the digestive tract.

The disappearance of these two microorganisms was associated with lower physical activity, Both bacteria produce metabolites known as fatty acid amides. These metabolites are the ones that stimulate the receptors of the neurons that reach the intestines. Specifically, they activate endocannabinoid receptors (endogenous isoforms of cannabis compounds) that complete the circuit, leading to increased levels of dopamine in the layer of the brain. And as Thais said earlier, that’s where a good chunk of the inspiration comes from.

Study co-author Nicholas Betley, a University of Pennsylvania biology professor, commented in a press release that “this gut-to-brain motivational pathway may have evolved to link nutrient availability and plant health.” intestinal bacteria with a desire to make physical activity tall”. For Betley, “this line of research could become an entirely new branch of exercise physiology.” Going forward, the study authors believe that if the brain and human gut bacteria interact If a similar pathway exists between humans, it may offer a diet-based mechanism to improve performance in sluggish sprinters or elite athletes. Furthermore, Betley concluded, furthering this newly discovered pathway “will allow other There may be more viable ways to change motivation and mood in domains, such as addiction and depression.”

consultation source here

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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