Performance-enhancing bacteria may increase performance by 13%
They pinpointed one specific group of bacteria, called Veillonella, that they found was enriched in the gut microbiome of Boston Marathon runners after after completing the 26.2 race and in an independent group of 87 elite and Olympic athletes after competitions. Veillonella bacteria isolated from marathon athletes and given to mice increased the animals’ performances in laboratory treadmill tests by 13% compared to control bacteria.
Jonathan Scheiman, Jacob M. Luber, Theodore A. Chavkin, Tara MacDonald, Angela Tung, Loc-Duyen Pham, Marsha C. Wibowo, Renee C. Wurth, Sukanya Punthambaker, Braden T. Tierney, Zhen Yang, Mohammad W. Hattab, Julian Avila-Pacheco, Clary B. Clish, Sarah Lessard, George M. Church, Aleksandar D. Kostic. Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism. Nature Medicine, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0485-4