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Effect of Intestinal Microbiota on Exercise Performance in Mice

Hsu, Yi Ju1; Chiu, Chien Chao1; Li, Yen Peng2; Huang, Wen Ching3; Huang, Yen Te2; Huang, Chi Chang1,*; Chuang, Hsiao Li2,*

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p 552–558
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000644
Original Research

Abstract: Hsu, YJ, Chiu, CC, Li, YP, Huang, WC, Huang, YT, Huang, CC, and Chuang, HL. Effect of intestinal microbiota on exercise performance in mice. J Strength Cond Res 29(2): 552–558, 2015—The antioxidant enzyme system helps protect against intense exercise-induced oxidative damage and is related to the physical status of athletes. Evidence suggests that intestinal microbiota may be an important environmental factor associated with host metabolism, physiology, and antioxidant endogenous defense. However, evidence of the effect of gut microbiota status on exercise performance and physical fatigue is limited. We investigated the association of intestinal bacteria and exercise performance in specific pathogen-free (SPF), germ-free (GF), and Bacteroides fragilis (BF) gnotobiotic mice. Endurance swimming time was longer for SPF and BF than GF mice, and the weight of liver, muscle, brown adipose, and epididymal fat pads was higher for SPF and BF than GF mice. The serum levels of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase were greater in SPF than GF mice. Serum superoxide dismutase activity was lower in BF than SPF and GF mice. In addition, hepatic GPx level was higher in SPF than GF and BF mice. Gut microbial status could be crucial for exercise performance and its potential action linked with the antioxidant enzyme system in athletes.

1Graduate Institute of Sports Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Taiwan;

2National Laboratory Animal Center, National Applied Research Laboratories, Taipei, Taiwan; and

3Graduate Institute of Athletics and Coaching Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

Address correspondence to Hsiao Li Chuang,

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.