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Exercise Boosts Good Gut Bacteria: Cardio Improves Healthy Microbes

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Cardiovascular exercise improves a person’s healthy gut microbes even without making dietary changes, University of Illinois researchers report. In a study of 32 people, 30 to 60 minutes of exercise three times a week for six weeks boosted levels of healthy intestinal bacteria, especially for lean subjects, and less so for the obese. The healthy bacteria produced short-chain fatty acids that reduce the risk of colon cancer.

“The bottom line is that there are clear differences in how the microbiome of somebody who is obese versus somebody who is lean responds to exercise,” says Jeffrey Woods, Ph.D., a kinesiology professor at the university.


This article appears in the June 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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