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We have read with great interest the study by Clarke et al 1 who in a very elegant and sophisticated manner documented the increase in gut microbial diversity in association with exercise and dietary extremes in professional rugby players. The observed microbial shifts were accompanied by lower inflammatory and healthier metabolic profiles among athletes. Significantly higher proportions of the genus Akkermansia muciniphila in athletes as well as in low Body Mass Index control group were found. As previously shown, the presence of these bacteria in the human GI tract has been associated with improved metabolic profiles, possibly due to enhanced barrier function. However, from the study of Clarke et al it is difficult to draw the conclusion and assess the impact of exercise per se from dietary influences in groups studied for their gut microbial diversity. As the alterations of the microbial diversity have already been linked to changes in dietary habits, …
Contributors WM and IL contributed equally to this letter in the form of study concept and design as well as in reviewing the literature and writing the manuscript.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Personal communication with Dr. Ratajczak and quoting of this statement in the manuscript has been agreed by both parties. The original research of Dr Ratajczak has already been presented in the form of abstract at ASH meeting in Atlanta 2012: Tarnowski M, Piotrowska K, Grymula K, et al.: Prolonged Strenuous Exercise Expands the Population of Developmentally Early Stem Cells in Bone Marrow (BM) and Mobilizes Them Into Peripheral Blood—Novel Evidence That Strongly Supports a Positive Effect of Physical Activity On Extension of Life Span At the Level of Stem Cells. 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. Atlanta 2012, USA.