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Bacteria from your gut may be the key to running farther



The researchers found the bacteria after examining the poop or Boston Marathon runners. To generate energy for itself, Veillonella breaks down lactic acid, which is produced at higher level when athletes perform particularly strenuous activities. To determine if the bacteria was making a difference, the researchers isolated and strain it and inserted it into 1

6 mice, then placed them on a treadmill. The mice with the bacteria in their stomachs were able to run for 13 percent longer than mice who did not get the benefit of Veillonella – a small difference, but one that could make a huge difference in an athletic competition in which every little advantage counts.

While Veillonella shows promise as a potential performance enhancer, it's still early on in the internships of research. The test shows a possible positive feedback between the bacteria and a host, but it's not clear if it will translate to humans in the same way or if it will prove safe for consumption. Plus, there are plenty of questions that need answers, including why the bacteria appears to be more prevalent in some people if using it would count as a performance enhancer, which could be considered cheating.


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