EXERCISE

Can microbes increase exercise performance in athletes?

Article metrics

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been suggested to be a therapeutic strategy for inflammatory diseases and it is known that regular physical activity can alter the composition of the gut microbiota. Now, a study proposes that FMT might increase exercise performance in athletes, raising the possibility of ‘faecal doping’.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Whitham, M. & Febbraio, M. A. The ever-expanding myokinome: discovery challenges and therapeutic implications. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 15, 719–729 (2016).

  2. 2.

    Sonnenburg, J. L. & Backhed, F. Diet-microbiota interactions as moderators of human metabolism. Nature 535, 56–64 (2016).

  3. 3.

    Imdad, A. et al. Fecal transplantation for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 11, CD012774 (2018).

  4. 4.

    Scheiman, J. et al. Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism. Nat. Med. 25, 1104–1109 (2019).

  5. 5.

    Mailing, L. J., Allen, J. M., Buford, T. W., Fields, C. J. & Woods, J. A. Exercise and the gut microbiome: a review of the evidence, potential mechanisms, and implications for human health. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev. 47, 75–85 (2019).

  6. 6.

    Marlicz, W. & Loniewski, I. The effect of exercise and diet on gut microbial diversity. Gut 64, 519–520 (2015).

  7. 7.

    Farrell, P. A., Wilmore, J. H., Coyle, E. F., Billing, J. E. & Costill, D. L. Plasma lactate accumulation and distance running performance. Med. Sci. Sports. 11, 338–344 (1979).

  8. 8.

    Newman, E. V. D. D. B., Edwards, H. T. & Webstter, F. A. The rate of lactic acid removal in exercise. Am. J. Physiol. 118, 457–462 (1937).

  9. 9.

    Starkie, R. L., Rolland, J., Angus, D. J., Anderson, M. J. & Febbraio, M. A. Circulating monocytes are not the source of elevations in plasma IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels after prolonged running. Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 280, C769–774 (2001).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Mark A. Febbraio.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article