Moderate, regular physical activity has a positive impact on our health and well-being and is one of the basic elements of preventive care. Unfortunately, the greater the physical workout and mental stress, the greater the probability of body dysfunctions, including intestinal dysbiosis, respiratory and digestive diseases. You should know that it can be minimized by appropriate supplementation with probiotics.
Regular physical activity is one of the main recommendations for people who care about health. Of course, regular, moderate physical exercise has a proven beneficial effect on many body systems, including peripheral nervous system, the endocrine system (regulation of hormone levels in the blood), and gastrointestinal tract (adequate blood supply to the mucosa and the muscle of the stomach and intestines). It was also proved that moderate intensity exercises affect the more efficient excretion of harmful metabolic products, while contributing to better absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients and electrolytes.
There are also reports that moderate physical activity combined with a proper diet may reduce the risk of cholelithiasis, diverticular colon disease (a wide spectrum of disease symptoms related to the presence of one to several hundred diverticulitis in the intestine) or colorectal cancer.
However, you should know that sport is associated not only with health benefits. People experiencing prolonged excessive physical effort, including athletes (especially professional), may be exposed to numerous disorders caused by excessive training load, which is unadjusted to the body regenerating possibilities. Excessively intense exercise, frequent trips, insufficient rest, too short intervals between individual training units and poor diet are factors that disrupt homeostasis. The stress associated with competition also has a destructive effect on the body. It is worth noting that all these factors can also accompany almost every human. It is closely related to the pace of modern life and resulting therefrom, permanent mental and physical effort.
Negative changes in the body after intense exercise
Directly after intensive training, there is a significant increase in risk of infection, in particular infection of the upper respiratory tract, which is associated with a reduction in resistance to bacteria and viruses. Reduced resistance is a growing problem among athletes almost all disciplines, which often impairs the body’s regenerative processes, as well as exclude the player from training and competition.
The most probable causes of reduced immune activity are the increased levels of the two hormones, cortisol and catecholamine, produced during vigorous exercise. In addition, the longer and more intense exercise, the greater the risk of intestinal microbiota imbalance, which is a key element of one of the four layers of the intestinal barrier.
The intestinal barrier consists of intestinal microbiota, protective mucus layer, intestinal epithelium and blood, lymphatic, immune and nervous system cells. The interaction of all these elements ensures the appropriate, selective ability to absorb and release specific substances, while limiting the entry of potentially harmful substances and pathogens into the body.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that disorders of the structure and function of the intestinal barrier leads to an increase in its permeability and may be the cause of a number of chronic diseases. It has been proven that intestinal barrier permeability disorders play a key role in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal diseases, but also in the nervous, immune and reproductive systems.
Probiotics – support for athletes
Currently, the interest of scientists focuses in particular on the search for supplementation strategies that could minimize the negative effects of exhausting physical effort. Probiotics, currently regarded as one of the basic and necessary sports supplements, are especially popular in the world. Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that promote health benefits for humans. The studies carried out so far have provided promising evidence confirming their effect on the alleviation and prevention of respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms among athletes.
Many scientific papers confirm that some probiotic supplements may reduce the risk of respiratory diseases and / or reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. There are also reports that probiotics can modulate serum cytokine levels and maintain adequate concentrations of protein molecules of the immune system (IgA) in saliva. There are many studies on this effect, and they concern both single probiotic strains and multistrain probiotic products.
Although there are few studies assessing the impact of probiotics on intestinal permeability and endotoxemia, those that have been carried out have shown a promising positive effect of probiotics on the reduction of urinary gallon and endotoxin in plasma, i.e. intestinal tightness. Interestingly, these studies used multistrain probiotic supplements, mostly including species of L. acidophilus, B. bifidum and B. animalis subsp. lactis.
It is also believed that regular intake of probiotics over a longer period of time is definitely more effective in preventing intestinal discomfort than their temporary use.
There are also many reports on the effect of probiotic bacteria on improving immunity in people with increased physical activity. Most of them suggests a reduction in the incidence of infections after the appropriate probiotic supplementation. The studies also confirmed the beneficial effect of probiotics on single elements of the immune system. No wonder – our intestines are the place, where we have about 75% of lymphoid cells of the body. The microorganisms in the intestine communicate there with the cells of the immune system. In this way, intestinal bacteria can modulate the functioning of our immunity. Research results show, that certain probiotic strains, as well as multistrain preparations that show synergistic effects, play an immunomodulatory role and contribute to reducing the frequency of respiratory infections and gastrointestinal complaints in those exposed to high effort.
In summary, the key issues for maintaining good health of physically active people include properly prepared training sysytem, a correct, balanced diet and responsible supplementation, including the selection of the appropriate high-quality probiotic supplement and its consequent, regular intake.
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