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High-Intensity Exercise May Cause Gut Damage

A recent study suggests that high-intensity exercise over a longtime may lead to gut damage and impaired gut function. The study found that the intestinal cells are injured, creating a leaky gut that allows for pathogenic endotoxins to into the bloodstream.


For this review, the participants examined studies that looked at the affects of high-intensity exercise on gastrointestinal injury, permeability, endotoxaemia, motility, and malabsorption. They found that increased exercise intensity and duration was associated with increased intestinal injury, permeability, and endotaxaemia as well as impairment of gastric emptying, slowing of small intestinal transit, and malabsorption.


Additionally exercise stress greater than or equal to two hours at 60% VO2 max was the point where gastrointestinal disturbances manifested, regardless of the fitness of the person. However, they also found that low to moderate exercise might be beneficial to people with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.


Researchers from Monash University in Australia led the study. It was published on June 7, 2017, in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.


Having a varied composition of bacteria in your digestive system is essential for good gut health and for good health overall. Previous studies have linked healthy gut bacteria with strengthening the immune system, better gum health, weight loss, and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

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