AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Early-life Exercise Alters Gut Microbes, Promotes Healthy Brain

Research recently published in the journal Immunology and Cell Biology, conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder found that exercising early on in life can alter the microbiota of the gut, which can help promote a healthier brain and metabolic activity over the course of a lifetime. “Exercise affects many aspects of health, both metabolic and mental, and people are only now starting to look at the plasticity of these gut microbes,” said the senior author of the study. “That is one of the novel aspects of this research.” During the study, researchers found that juvenile rats who voluntarily exercised every day developed a more beneficial microbial structure, including the expansion of probiotic bacterial species in their gut compared to both their sedentary counterparts and adult rats, even when the adult rats exercised as well.The researchers have not yet pinpointed an exact age range when the gut microbe community is likeliest to change, but the preliminary findings indicate that earlier is better. A robust, healthy community of gut microbes also appears to promote healthy brain function and provide anti-depressant effects, according to researchers. To read more about this study, click here.

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