we knew that bacteria in our gut and that they are part of us gut microbiota or flora Viruses, protozoa, fungi, archaea… along with other microorganisms – affect our physical and mental health. But science is finding new links between these microbes and how we feel. Now, new research has shown that it also our influence Inspiration to do physical exercise and our sports performance,
Studies have been conducted in rats by scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and found that certain species of intestinal bacteria activate nerves in the gut to induce the desire to exercise. Their results, published in NatureReveals gut-to-brain pathway that explains why some bacteria The desire to go out of the train increases,
Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. The researchers, led by Christoph Theis, gathered around 200 rats and set them running on a treadmill or treadmill. The animals’ performance varied greatly, and when they were classified by their genetic inheritance, they found no correlation between their genes and their athletic performance, so they investigated other possible causes, such as metabolism (metabolites produced by the organism). ), your metabolism or your gut microbiome (the set of gut microbes and their genetic interactions).
“Sensory neurons transmit a signal to the brain that increases levels of dopamine, the main neurotransmitter involved in generating motivation to exercise”
They observed that while the first two factors were not related to physical activity levels and the differences in the mice’s running performance were largely due to the presence of certain species of gut bacteria in the better-performing rodents. They found that while genetics appeared to explain only a small portion of the differences in performance, differences in populations of gut bacteria appeared to be significantly more important.
The researchers gave the animals a cocktail of broad-spectrum antibiotics to test their effects, as treatment with these drugs is known to have adverse effects on the intestinal flora, and they observed that those who were given the drugs His performance was much better. Reduced, up to 50% less than before taking the drugs and compared to rats that did not take the drugs. Many didn’t even go near a treadmill or get on a wheel.
A pathway that links gut bacteria to willingness to train
Dr Theis explained: “What we discovered is a pathway that links the gut microbiome to a area of the brain called the striatum, which is necessary to generate motivation”. “The microbiome produces specific metabolites that are recognized by neurons innervating the gut. These neurons are activated during exercise and molecules derived from the microbiome enhance this activation. Sensory neurons then transmit a signal to the brain, resulting in a high dopamine levels in the stratum. Dopamine, in turn, is the main neurotransmitter involved. generate motivation to exercise,
striatum is a major node brain’s motivation and reward network, so the researchers concluded that excess dopamine in this brain region during exercise enhances performance by increasing the desire to exercise. This would be the circuit that links gut bacteria to the desire to train, although this has so far only been studied in mice. Dr. Theis, lead author of the study, said: “If we can confirm the presence of a similar pathway in humans, it could provide an effective way to increase people’s exercise levels to improve overall public health. “
Study co-author J. Nicholas Betley, associate professor of biology in the School of the Arts, says, “This gut-to-brain motivation pathway has been shown to link nutrient availability and the state of gut bacteria populations to readiness to engage in physical activity over long periods of time.” may develop.” and Science at the University of Pennsylvania. “This line of research could become a whole new branch of exercise physiology.”
The findings of these scientists open new avenues of research on this topic. For example, experiments showed evidence that the best-performing rats experienced ‘runner’s high’ more acute, which in this case was measured by a reduction in pain sensitivity, suggesting that this phenomenon would be at least partially controlled by gut bacteria.
The team’s next aim is to conduct new studies in people to confirm the existence of this pathway from the gut to the brain, as it may not provide a cheaper and safer diet-based alternative to encourage people to run and walk. Optimize the performance of elite athletesBut it may also contribute to the development of simple methods to modify motivation and mood in people with problems of addiction or depression.