A new study has uncovered the effect of exercise on our health through adjusting the balance of the gut microbiome.

The study, Aerobic Fitness and Gut Microbiota, suggests a person’s physical activity levels might affect the bacterial diversity of their gut, and thus influence their overall health.

In the paper, appearing in the journal Experimental Physiology, authors from Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, explain the biological mechanisms making this possible.

Researchers worked with a cohort of 37 participants successfully treated for nonmetastatic breast cancer to determine the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and gut microbiome.

Participants performed graded exercises so researchers could assess their peak cardiorespiratory fitness, along with their total energy expenditure.

The researchers also collected faecal samples from volunteers which were used in the analysis of their gut microbiota.

The study revealed participants with the highest cardiorespiratory fitness had more diverse bacterial populations in the gut, compared with others who had lower cardiorespiratory fitness.

Investigators confirmed that cardiorespiratory fitness was linked with about a quarter of the variance in bacterial species diversity, which was independent of that produced by an individual’s body fat percentage.

The data indicated that exercising at a high intensity can boost cardiorespiratory effectiveness and can improve overall health by supporting a better-balanced gut.

For more information on this study, click here.