Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Working out the bugs: microbial modulation of athletic performance

A multi-faceted translational study provides the first evidence that gut microbial conversion of lactate to propionate may enhance athletic performance during high-intensity endurance exercise.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Evidence for microbial modulation of athletic performance.


  1. Lynch, S. V. & Pedersen, O. N. Engl. J. Med. 375, 2369–2379 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Scheiman, J. et al. Nat. Med. (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Hui, S. et al. Nature 551, 115–118 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Oner, M. D. & Erickson, L. E. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 28, 883–894 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Jensen, T. L., Kiersgaard, M. K., Sørensen, D. B. & Mikkelsen, L. F. Lab. Anim. 47, 225–240 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ríos-Covián, D. et al. Front. Microbiol. 7, 185 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Allen, J. M. et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 50, 747–757 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Gilbert, J. A. et al. Nat. Med. 24, 392–400 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rachel N. Carmody.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Carmody, R.N., Baggish, A.L. Working out the bugs: microbial modulation of athletic performance. Nat Metab 1, 658–659 (2019).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing