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Exercise when younger for healthier brain, metabolism

Washington D.C.: In a recent study, researchers have found that exercising early in life can alter the teeming menagerie of over 100 trillion microorganisms that human gut harbors and can promote a healthier brain and metabolic activity over the course of a lifetime.

The research conducted by the researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder indicates that there may be a window of opportunity during early human development to optimise the chance of better lifelong health.

Researcher Monika Fleshner said that exercise affects many aspects of health, both metabolic and mental, and people are only now starting to look at the plasticity of these gut microbes.

Microbes take up residence within human intestines shortly after birth and are vital to the development of the immune system and various neural functions. These microbes can add as many 5 million genes to a person’s overall genetic profile and thus have tremendous power to influence aspects of human physiology.

While this diverse microbial community remains somewhat malleable throughout adult life and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet and sleep patterns, the researchers found that gut microorganisms are especially plastic at a young age.

Agniezka Mika said that future research on this microbial ecosystem will hone in on how these microbes influence brain function in a long-lasting way.

The study is published in the journal ‘Immunology and Cell Biology.’