There are two topics that catch my eye and grab my attention; Exercise and Gut Health.

If you know me, then you know I am an “Exercist”, the term is given to those you love exercise, talk about it incessantly and recommended to everyone as a cure for all their ills. Those who exercise regularly speak of the peace and satisfaction that comes over them after a long run or vigorous workout. But, not everyone gets the “runners’ high”. For years those who didn’t enjoy exercise were categorized as lazy and the so called Lazy People called those who exercise crazy.. But recent research out of the University of Pennsylvania may have have uncovered the link that separates the Exercised from the Un-Exercised.

A recent WebMD article gave a synopsis of a 2021 Study published in Nature that showed the connection between exercise motivation and Gut Bacteria.

I would encourage you to read both the WebMD and Nature articles, but if you don’t here is my synopsis:

The Brain and the GI tract are connected by the Vagus Nerve. This two-way communication network is known as the Enteric Nervous System. In the GI tract we have Trillions of bacteria, more than the total number of cells in the body. That number is made up of thousands of different species of bacteria that  are unique to each person just like our DNA.  Two types of bacteria, Eubacterium rectale and Coprococcus eutactus. were identified as strains that produce compounds that interact with receptors in the gut.  Those receptors in turn signal the brain to cut back its production of a compound that breaks down dopamine. With more dopamine built up in the brain after exercise the person feels good and is more encouraged to do it again.

There has been a lot of research recently on the GI Tract and it’s relationship to Health and Disease. Chronic Inflammation, Mental Illness, Auto Immune Disorders and Addiction are being study and in early trials linked to the Microbiome.

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