Exercise and gut symptomatology have long been connected. The possibility that regular exercise fosters intestinal health and function has been somewhat overlooked in the scientific literature. In this review, we summarize current knowledge and discuss a selection of recent, relevant, and innovative studies, hypotheses and reviews that elucidate a complex topic.
The multiorgan benefits of regular exercise are extensive. When taken in moderation, these benefits transcend improved cardio-respiratory fitness and likely reach the gut in a metabolic, immunological, neural, and microbial manner. This is applicable in both health and disease. However, further work is required to provide safe, effective recommendations on physical activity in specific gastrointestinal conditions.
Challenging methodology investigating the relationship between exercise and gut health should not deter from exploring exercise in the promotion of gastrointestinal health.
aDepartment of Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Wilton
bAPC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland
Correspondence to Owen Cronin, MB BCh, MMedSc, MFSEM (Ireland), Department of Medicine, Clinical Sciences Building, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. Tel: +353 0 21 4901256; fax: +353 0 21 4922102; e-mail: email@example.com