In a world first study recently published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, researchers have successfully identified a direct link between increased cardiovascular fitness, and gut health.
“We think… that exercise will help people stay healthier and live longer. But you don't think about your gut bacteria," said Ryan Durk, a SF University lecturer with a masters in kinesiology. "We now know that exercise is crucial for increasing beneficial bacteria in the gut."
Researchers from the San Francisco State University recruited almost 40 subjects from the University, and submitted them to treadmill testing, body fat analysis and stool testing continuously for one week.
When looking at the combined results, the students with the highest levels of cardiovascular fitness had higher levels of firmicutes bacteria, a key player in strengthening the lining of the stomach, preventing leakage, aka ‘leaky gut syndrome’.
While the research doesn't go on to explain exactly why cardiovascular fitness resulted in these higher levels, the findings were conclusive enough to give the team reason to believe gut issues could be treated by exercise.
The research adds to a long line of studies that are currently pushing exercise as both a reactive and preventative form of medicine, and Durk hopes that this new finding could form the foundation of new management for the gut microbiome, and health in general.
We're not there yet," he said, "but this helps create that foundation."