Fibre intake, gut health and exercise capacity

Exercise Physiology Brisbane - 22 August 2022

Fibre intake, gut health and exercise capacity

It's been a while between posts, but we thought we kick things off again with a summary of Camilla's final published paper from her PhD. 

The gut microbiome has been associated with cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) possibly via metabolites produced during short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) fermentation. Soluble fibres, such as oligo-fructose enriched (FOS) inulin, increase SCFA fermentation.

Can an increase in soluble fibre intake improve CRF?

Study Intervention:
20 inactive but healthy adults were recruited to one of two groups.

  • Group 1: 6 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT) + 12g of FOS-inulin each day
  • Group 2: 6 weeks of HIIT + 12g placebo (maltodextrin) each day.

Each participant complete a VO2max (measures CRF) test and provided a stool sample before and after the intervention.

FOS-inulin did not improve CRF response to HIIT. Participants who had a greater CRF response to training had a larger abundance of B.uniformis species and gellen degradation pathways. However, FOS-inulin improved ventilatory thresholds (lactate accumulation and threshold), which was associated with a greater increase in Bifidobacterium taxa, acetate (SCFA) production and processes involved in energy production and usage.

FOS-inulin may be a beneficial ergogenic aid in endurance exercise. A B.uniformis probiotic could improve CRF......these thoughts need further exploration.

 Source and further reading: