Category Archives: Gastroenterology

Could Exercise Be the Secret to a Healthy Gut Microbiome?

The gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of microbes – collectively known as the gut microbiota – that play essential roles in physiology and health. More recently, the scientific community has begun paying more attention to the human gut as a complex ecosystem of bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, and viruses with robust connections to the rest of the body.

Microbes that comprise the gut microbiome can weigh up to 2 kg and are imperative to host digestion, metabolic function, and resistance to infection. The human gut microbiota has an enormous metabolic capacity, with over 1000 different unique bacterial species and over 3 million unique genes. Yet current science has only just begun to unravel how these microbes affect overall human health.

While dietary patterns are well known to modulate gut microbiota composition, recent studies suggest that another lifestyle factor can alter gut microbial communities as well: physical activity.

Could exercise be the secret to a healthy gut microbiome?

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Microbiome Transplants for Reversing Hallmarks of Aging

In recent years, the gut microbiome has garnered significant clinical and popular attention as a critical component of overall health and wellbeing. As a burgeoning body of evidence reveals, gut health is a foundational element of whole-person wellness; imbalances and bacteria overgrowth have been directly linked to chronic diseases ranging from obesity to major depressive disorder. Most diseases are associated with changes in the types and behavior of gut bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes – including aging.

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What Are The Most Common Gastrointestinal Disorders?

With symptoms ranging from fatigue to abdominal pain and discomfort, gastrointestinal disorders can present differently on a patient-by-patient basis, making these common conditions challenging to diagnose. An estimated 60-70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, in many cases unknowingly. Recent research published in Gastroenterology reports that over 40% of the global population has a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID) – which has significant adverse effects on quality of life and health care use.

According to data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, GI disorders account for close to 50 million hospital visits and 21.7 million hospital admissions per year; they also lead to nearly 250,000 deaths annually. Furthermore, the treatment and management of gastrointestinal disorders give rise to $141.8 billion in U.S. healthcare expenditure, signaling an urgent need for increased awareness and clinical interventions.

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