The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Fitness, Bone Health & Reducing Inflammation
12th April 2019
12th April 2019
THE MIGHTY GUT MICROBIOME!
Recent advances in science have revealed the ‘DNA’ of the gut microbiome and how different cultures of microbiome are related to various health traits. So much so that that humble microbiome could be pivotal in alleviating the signs and symptoms of osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, osteopenia / osteoporosis and diabetes, not to mention its role in building muscle mass and function which could help both athletes, but also the elderly and those recovering from injury / surgery!
WHAT ARE GUT MICROBIOMES?
Microbiomes undertake many metabolic functions in the human body, including how nutrients in our food are processed and absorbed; they also influence our immunity and levels of inflammation. As a consequence, the composition of your gut microbes directly influence your fitness, body-type and health.
HOW GUT MICROBES CAN IMPROVE OUR GENERAL HEALTH
Gut microbes play a role in turning our food in to Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) which in turn do all this! . . .
- Improve our immune system
- Affect our mood
- Appetite regulation
- Reduce cholesterol
- Regulate our blood sugars and insulin resistance (Butyrate)
- Influence our energy levels
- Help fight colon cancer
GUT MICROBIOMES INCREASE MUSCLE MASS & FUNCTION!
Several studies have found that gut microbes (e.g. L.plantarum) increase muscle mass and function. In two studies probiotics resulted in increased run time to fatigue in elite athletes (Shing et al 2014) and improved aerobic performance in endurance swimmers (Salarkia et al 2013). So if you are an participate in sport and / or are interested in weightlifting / bodybuilding, having a health gut could literally be the winning formula!
Interestingly, a study looking at patients 65 years or older showed that participants who received a prebiotic (F-GOS) demonstrated significant improvements in strength and endurance. (Buigues et al 2016). After the age of 30 we begin to lose as much as 3-5% muscle mass per decade. Muscle is important for strength, balance, metabolism and generating body heat which are all vital for helping us keep fit and healthy (and able to enjoy retirement!).
GUT MICROBIOMES FOR HEALTHY BONES AND CARTILAGE!
Suffering from Osteopenia or Osteoporosis? Then read on! Gut microbes influences the absorption of key vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin D all of which are crucial to bone generation.
Probiotic treatment with Lacatobacillus reuteri has been found significantly reduce bone loss and the production of inflammatory cytokines (high levels of cytokines contribute to arthritis)
There is considerable evidence linking poor gut health with autoimmune mechanisms involved in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and cartilage metabolism (cartilage is the shiny surface of our joints and helps with friction-free movement).
HOW CAN WE HELP DEVELOP LOTS OF GOOD GUT MICROBES?
- Eating a fibre-rich, diverse diet
- Taking probiotic supplements
- Avoiding medication that kills ‘good gut microbes’
- Don’t drink too much alcohol
- Participate in regular exercise
- Give up the cigs
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid stress where at all possible
The above is the exact reason BodyMed was set up! The winning formula often involves looking at more than one element of your health. When recovering from injury/surgery, training for an event or looking to manage your arthritis / bone health, greater improvement can be gained from combining Physiotherapy with Nutritional Therapy.
Hannah Thornton – Nutritional Therapist
To make an appointment please call the clinic on: 01 853 2788
REFERENCE: “The role of the gut microbiome in musculoskeletal rehabilitation” – Sameer Gohir & Ana M.Valdes, In Touch (The Journal for Physiotherapists in Private Practice) – No.166, Spring 2019