Exercise has a moderate but measurable effect on gut microbial communities in mice. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Moderate Exercise Has Limited but Distinguishable Effects on the Mouse Microbiome.
mSystems. 2017 Jul-Aug;2(4). Epub 2017 Aug 22. PMID: 28845459
Emily V Lamoureux
The gut microbiome is known to have a complex yet vital relationship with host health. While both exercise and the gut microbiome have been shown to impact human health independently, the direct effects of moderate exercise on the intestinal microbiota remain unclear. In this study, we compared gut microbial diversity and changes in inflammatory markers associated with exercise over an 8-week period in mice that performed either voluntary exercise (VE) (n = 10) or moderate forced exercise (FE) (n = 11) and mice that did not perform any exercise (n = 21). VE mice, but not FE mice, had increased food intake and lean body mass compared to sedentary mice. The levels of inflammatory markers associated with exercise were similar for mice in all three groups. Traditional microbial profiles comparing operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in samples (P>0.1) and multivariate analysis of beta diversity via Adonis testing (P>0.1) did not identify significantly altered taxonomic profiles in the voluntary or forced exercise group compared to the sedentary controls. However, a random forests machine learning model, which takes into account the relationships between bacteria in a community, classified voluntary exercisers and nonexercisers with 97% accuracy at 8 weeks. The top bacteria used by the model allowed us to identify known taxa (Bacteroides, S24-7, and Lactobacillus) and novel taxa (Rikenellaceae and Lachnospiraceae) associated with exercise. Although aerobic exercise in mice did not result in significant changes of abundance in gut microbes or in host inflammatory response, more sophisticated computational methods could identify some microbial shifts. More study is needed on the effects of various exercise intensities and their impact on the gut microbiome. IMPORTANCE The bacteria that live in our gut have a complex yet vital relationshipwith our health. Environmental factors that influence the gut microbiome are of great interest, as recent research demonstrates that these microbes, mostly bacteria, are important for normal host physiology. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer have also been linked to shifts in the microbiome. Exercise is known to have beneficial effects on these diseases; however, much less is known about its direct impact on the gut microbiome. Our results illustrate that exercise has a moderate but measurable effect on gut microbial communities in mice. These methods can be used to provide important insight into other factors affecting the microbiome and our health.