It really takes tough running marathons.
In fact, endurance practitioners who carry a certain type of intestinal bacteria can work better than those without this microorganism running around in the digestive tract, according to a magazine published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.
Harvard researchers analyzed pallet samples from 10 Boston Marathon runners who completed the 26.2-mile run in 2015, as well as 10 non-athlete stools that served as controls in the experiment. And the researchers found that marathoner's excrement contained higher amounts of Veillonella bacteria than in sedentary humans.
Fun Fact: Veillonella bacteria metabolize the lactic acid produced by exercise and convert it into a propionate, a fatty acid that is believed to have beneficial effects on mammals such as increasing metabolism and regulating blood pressure. So it makes sense that this microorganism can benefit athletic performance ̵
"One of the things that was immediately noticed was this single organism, Veillonella, which was clearly enriched in abundance immediately after the marathon in runners," wrote Dr. Aleksandar D. Kostic, a co-author of the paper. "When we dug into the details of Veillonella, it was as we found it to be relatively unique in the human microbiome, because it uses lactate or lactic acid as the sole carbon source."
So the researchers gave an isolated selection of this bacteria – Veillonella atypica – from one of the marathoners to 16 mice, while giving 16 other mice another bacterium that does not break down lactate. And the mice with the runner's lactating gut bacteria ran 13% longer on a treadmill before collapsing from fatigue than the mice in the control group giving the other microbe.
A growing research group has suggested that the human gut biome could link to the overall health and disease risk, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, treating intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, stimulating the immune system, reducing autism symptoms and possibly help prevent Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Dr. Kostic wrote that Veillonella could possibly be developed as a complement to help in overall health and performance, although more research is needed. "Increasing exercise capacity is a strong prediction for overall health and protection against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and overall life expectancy," he noted. "What we imagine is a probiotic supplement that people can take that increase their ability to make meaningful exercise and protect them from chronic diseases, including diabetes."
But the FDA recently announced that it stops clinical trials on fecal grafts in People after two patients became very ill and one died after receiving donated bowel movements that had not been screened for drug-resistant bacteria.
The effects on future research and development of fecal microbiota for transplant studies remains to be seen. While the director of the Agency's Biological Evaluation and Research Center did not specify how many attempts would be interrupted in an interview with the New York Times, he noted that it was "not just a few".
This news comes as many runners who are registered to run case marathons in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago have started their training. Almost 18.3 million Americans were registered for the marathon in 2017, the last year as data is available from Running USA. Marathon entry fees can run from $ 60 to $ 200, and runners raise millions of dollars for charity participating in metropolitan racing such as TCS New York City Marathon and Bank of America