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Why are elite athletes different? Pay attention to their microbes



E Light athletes are really different from you and me. Or at least their intestinal microbes are. Scientists who analyzed stool samples from 15 paths a week before and after competing in the Boston Marathon in 2015 found unusually high levels of a particular microbe compared to 10 non-athletes. The levels of the microbe in question, Veillonella, intensified after intense training and bloomed further after the marathon.

This was a light bulb for scientists because the bacterium is known for the destruction and eating of lactate, and the metabolites that ordinary runners equate to fatigue . Veilonella acts as a "metabolic sink" for lactate, scientists suspect, fueling the by-product of working muscles that blame their aching legs in the last part of long distance races. Bacteria turn the lactide into propionate, a shorter fatty acid that is a source of energy, and can also be anti-inflammatory, a team of researchers from Harvard reported, researchers said on Monday in Nature Nature.

In theory, which creates feedback: When athletes exercise, they constantly produce lactate. They also create a niche in their microbe for organisms that can use lactate as the primary source of energy.

After confirming in 87 other athletes what they found in marathons, then the researchers showed ̵

1; only in mice. ] – that the colonization of laboratory animals with a Veillonella strain taken by one of the elite athletes increased their stamina while on treadmills by 13%. This improvement may not sound impressive, but athletes who seek to shave seconds from their personal qualities are likely to call it enormous if larger surveys report the results.

"This study presents a hypothesis but yet unproven mechanism by which the microbiome can affect the host's physiology during extreme activities. We actually proposed such a mechanism in the past, "said Jack Gilbert, a professor at the San Diego Medical School's University of California. He did not participate in the study. "We already know that microbes can ferment food and produce metabolites that can improve muscular fitness and strengthen muscles. This study provides convincing evidence supporting lactate metabolism as a key component of extreme sports activity. "

In her own study, Orla Oulian of University College, Cork, Ireland, has also seen Veillonella levels of bacteria growing in rugby players. " What this book does is to add to the previous results that show that athletes have different microbioms from the sedentary people," she said, adding that there is a long way to see why this is and how happens. Does the microbe help you determine whether you can be an athlete, or that you are an athlete, influence your microbe? Will the improved endurance seen only in mice be manifested in humans?

Oul Sullivan also wonders whether the postmarton bulge of the athletes in Weylonella helped to restore them, not to endurance, as Anti-inflammatory action of propionate. She said it would also be interesting to see if the phenomenon only occurs in endurance athletes or in all athletics.

Some of the co-authors of the Nature Medicine study are pursuing two different songs based on their early results, which they say should be tested in larger studies.

Jonathan Shaiman, who led the study while he was a PhD student in genetics engineer George Church, last year co-founded Biotechnology with the Church called Fitbiomics . Based in New York, the goal of the launch is to commercialize probiotics.

"For Fitbiomics, our goal is not really elite athletes. Anyone else who just wants to be healthier, more active and more appropriate, "said Shayman. He did not disclose the company's funding or product development schedule. "We will start with the health and nutrition of consumers – we can also expand to therapeutic applications."

Senior author Alexander Kostic of the Jocelyn Diabetes Center believes that their discoveries about what is unique in the microbes of super-healthy athletes can potentially help prevent the disease. Kostic holds a stake in Fitbiomics.

"The ability to make meaningful exercises is strongly associated with reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes," Kostic said. "If we can increase the physical capacity of a person by making a simple modification of the microbe, perhaps by introducing Veillonella as a probiotic, this could potentially have a major medical impact in reducing the risk of a chronic disease."

I'm still not looking for Vienonella. Besides having to check his function in more people and understand how it works, Kostic and Shaiman point out that not all the high-performing athletes they tested had high levels of Veillonella. There may be better microbes to pursue.

"Veillonella is great and we are excited about Veillonella," Scheiman said. "I think the real question now is, what else is there?"


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