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Could a gut bacteria or probiotic help an athlete win a Gold Medal at the Olympics?

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As crazy as my answer may sound, it is likely to be true. Now let me explain.

I just saw an article yesterday that mentioned they discovered athletes have bacteria in the bellies that are specifically enhanced in numbers in comparison to non-athletes which increases their performance.

Starting back in 2014, microbiome (gut bacteria and chemicals) researchers started to analyze the kinds of bacteria found in athletes vs. more regular people. They started to report differences in the types of bacteria between the groups. The research started to gain steam after one of the microbiome researchers noticed that after taking antibiotics for several years, her microbiome was pretty beat up and lacked diversity in the kinds of bacteria she had. She was a competitive mountain bike rider had reported that the antibiotics had made her more prone to fatigue.

In order to fix her low diversity, she decided to transplant bacteria from a human donar into her belly. Two months later, she reported that her fatigue seemed to disappear and even started winning professional mountain bike races.

Because of her massive turnaround in athletic abilities after her bacteria transplant, she started a project where she obtained belly samples from 35 of her cyclist friends. She found that the athletes had a more diverse mixture of gut bacteria than regular people.

These early results accelerated the interest of other researchers.

Now about a week ago, The Harvard Gazette (…/performance-enhancing-bacteria-…/) reported that Harvard scientists isolated bacteria called Veillonella from marathon runners that were found in higher concentrations than sedentary people. They transferred those bacteria into mice and the mice gained 13 percent more endurance while running on a treadmill over mice that didn’t have those special athletic bacteria.

Further testing revealed that the Veillonella bacteria produced a short-chain fatty acid called propionate. There is a short chain fatty acid that you are already familiar with that is in your fridge that is called butyrate, it is the chemical that gives butter is distinctive smell when you melt it. Propionate is another short chain fatty acid that our gut bugs make.

The Harvard scientists’ additional tests showed that the propionate then improved the body’s function to improve the endurance.

The reason why this line of research caught my attention is because it is shows another mode of action of how our gut bugs can improve our human performance. For this Veillonella, it produces excessive amounts of propionate to provide a 13% increase in endurance in mice. Now I realize that the 13% improvement comes from comparing the affects of poop from athletic to non-athletes, but you can imagine if you had a top athlete that qualified to compete in the Olympics that had to undergo antibiotic treatment close the the olympic races, that he or she could become deficient in the athletic bugs and lose a bit of endurance. 13% is a big number if it is the same performance difference in humans as found in the mice, such a big difference could easily be the difference between winning and losing an event in the Olympics when races often end in photo finishes.

Now if one species of bacteria with a single mode of action, propionate production, could decide the Olympics, what could our B-30892 super strain, which makes Liovi Probiotic Drink, that has two modes of action (neutralizing certain bacterial toxins and preventing certain bacteria from sticking to your belly) do for your life? As with many things, the best way to find out is to give it a try…

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