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Original Article

The impact of moderate- and high-intensity exercise on microbiota population and short-chain fatty acid production in the cecum of rats

Andreanyta Meliala, Paramita Narwidina, Hera Nirwati, Titik Nuryastuti, Muhammad Kamil, Laode Ardiansyah, Arso Pranindyo.

The body’s immunity can be increased by physical exercise. High-intensity physical exercise (HIPE) can disturb the body’s digestive system and cause an imbalance of the microbiome population between pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria. This posttest-only control group study was conducted on 18 male Wistar rats which were divided into three groups (n = 6): (1) control (nonexercised); (2) moderate-intensity physical exercise (MIPE) (30 minutes at 55%VO2 max/day, 5 days per week); and (3) high-intensity physical exercise (HIPE) (30 minutes at 85% VO2 max/day, 5 days per week). After 5 weeks, subjects’ cecum was isolated from the gut and colony-forming units were counted for the total lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus spp., and Escherichia coli. Microbiological analysis of the cecal contents indicated that, in comparisons between the control, the MIPE, and the HIPE groups, there were no statistically significant differences between the bacterial groups except for E. coli between the MIPE and HIPE groups (p < 0.05). Additionally, the MIPE group showed a significantly higher acetate and propionic acid concentration compared to the HIPE and control groups (p < 0.05). Moderate but not high-intensity exercise may contribute to better well-being of the microbiota environment as shown by the significantly higher acetic and propionic acid production.

Key words: Escherichia coli, exercise, gut microbiota, Lactobacillus spp., short-chain fatty acid

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