Readers Say

When it comes to health & wellness…there are a lot of myths, rumors and false information out there. What I trust and love about “Health Tips from the Professor” is that you cite the study you are referencing. You validate the study and give the reader the facts both good and bad, and you separate what is fiction & non-fiction. And, if the findings are still out there “unknown” you let us know that too.
Information based on science…not fads or hype… is important to you, and that is important to me! Many times I will read statements from many of the “well-known” Health magazines only to find out that there is no clear evidence of where that statement came from. I’ve learned not to believe everything I read!!! I appreciate the fact that you will always cite the published study and where it can be found!!! You describe what the study consisted of. You are always clear about all the proper information.

Pamela

I love “Health Tips from the Professor” because you analyze studies and teach in an honest forthright way that we readers have learned to trust. It is also something relating to our health. Your writing is personable and not stuffy. Here is a clue of how important I see your information, when I receive your article, I do not delay in opening it for I know it will relate to something that matters to my health or to others. But most important, Because of your science background / experience I know of no one else who has the expertise to understand and breakdown the truth behind current studies and health related news. Online occasionally I have searched other health news but most are so biased, either because they are selling the product they discuss or work for a company that is selling the product so it is difficult to sort out what is truth on other websites or blogs. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise.

Jean

I whole-heartedly recommend that people go to your blog. First of all, there is so much confusion in this arena that people do not know who to trust. They want the facts without all the bias, and that’s hard to find these days. You have the credentials to report on these health topics and you do so in a way that is accurate and balanced. My readers have come to trust what you say and they look forward to every one of your Health Tips.

Your topics are relevant and usually coincide with information that has been in the news, so people are inclined to read them. As a professor, you are a great communicator of complex information. You can write on a serious subject and lighten things up with humor, and you can take a complicated topic and explain it clearly to the average person.

You provide practical information that people can act on. Many people feel helpless about their health problems or fear getting a disease. You provide practical information that empowers us take responsibility for our health and feel more in control by doing something positive that is supported by science and common sense.

Your articles inspire us to think objectively about subjects that will enhance our ability to make better health decisions. There are very few resources like yours, Dr. Chaney, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do!

Nancy

I like hearing about non-biased nutritional information from credible sources such as you, who can break down complicated, confusing research articles and make them easy to understand. Having a reliable and trustworthy source to explain the ins and outs of what the latest research means and doesn’t mean is invaluable.

Ruth

Your information is important to me because I trust the source…your credentials, your experience and, I like the way that you relay your information. For me, you have exactly the right combination of technical/science info and lay-person regular language. You make it easy for everyone to understand the studies that you are breaking down for them. I own a fitness and nutrition business and I crave the latest and greatest information. I LOVE this stuff and can’t get enough of it. I do, however, always consider the source of the information and often discount other sources as the nonsense that they are. You always have solid, credible research and solid, credible explanations.

Ginny

Your information is important to me as a person who chooses to maintain and improve health – for myself, my family and those of like-mind with whom I come in contact. As a scientist, you speak factually, and I am comfortable quoting your blogs and referring others to the latest current research which you synthesize and make available in layman’s language.

Mary

Your information is of value because keeping my family fit is at the top of my list. I trust your articles because you give full disclosure of your sources along with an explanation which has no hidden meaning or motive.

Valerie

You cut through misinformation and anti-nutrition bias from the media for us to think clearly and see clearly how to manage our own health. You speak with balance and common sense and a bit of humor. You cut through the sacred shibboleths of science and bring it into human terms. You are a rare scientist, one who recognizes that science can try to fix things, but it is nature which keeps us from needing the fix. We can’t not listen to you if we are looking for answers we can trust.

Connie

I want to have the latest information on any research studies in that area of interest. However, I also want to be assured that such information is valid and not skewed . I feel assured that your informative newsletters gives me that feeling of validity that I can pass along to others.

Dolores

The information is important to me because it is factual and is backed by scientific proof. I am seeking this kind of information for the health education of myself, my family, and those I can share it with. I am concerned that there is too much “fictional” information out there and you have to get your information from someone you trust. Many people believe everything they read in newspapers and magazines, etc. They don’t realize that many times there is a monetary backing to these articles.

As a doctor and in education you have the resources, knowledge, and experience of helping people. I trust your information because I have read your emails over the years and know that you look for the scientific research backing the information you talk about. I know that you do the research to share information that shows the scientific proof not just what someone says for marketing purposes. This is information that can help others make educational choices to improve their health.

Virginia

Life is so busy that there is not always enough time to keep abreast of all the research on nutrition and holistic living. Having one source that synthesizes the information and presents it in a clear, concise and comprehensive manner makes it easier to stay informed and make better choices.

Joanne

The tips you provide are trustworthy resources for information. My main goal is to share responsibly with others. I like that you address current issues/studies/reporting. With so much going around on the internet it can be hard to acquire information that I feel comfortable or confident in sharing. Many times online posts by others are merely spam or biased based on someone trying to promote their product lines – that’s not the case with you.

Betty

Recent Videos From Dr. Steve Chaney

READ THE ARTICLE
READ THE ARTICLE

Latest Article

Is Our Microbiome Affected By Exercise?

Posted November 6, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Microbiome Mysteries

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

is our microbiome affected by exerciseIn a recent post,  What is Your Microbiome and Why is it Important,  of “Health Tips From The Professor” I outlined how our microbiome, especially the bacteria that reside in our intestine, influences our health. That influence can be either good or bad depending on which species of bacteria populate our gut. I also discussed how the species of bacteria that populate our gut are influenced by what we eat and, in turn, influence how the foods we eat are metabolized.

I shared that there is an association between obesity and the species of bacteria that inhabit our gut. At present, this is a “chicken and egg” conundrum. We don’t know whether obesity influences the species of bacteria that inhabit our gut, or whether certain species of gut bacteria cause us to become obese.

Previous studies have shown that there is also an association between exercise and the species of bacteria that inhabit our gut. In particular, exercise is associated with an increase in bacteria that metabolize fiber in our diets to short chain fatty acids such as butyrate. That is potentially important because butyrate is a primary food source for intestinal mucosal cells (the cells that line the intestine). Butyrate helps those cells maintain the integrity of the gut barrier (which helps prevent things like leaky gut syndrome). It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the immune cells that reside in the gut.

However, associations don’t prove cause and effect. We don’t know whether the differences in gut bacteria were caused by differences in diet or leanness in populations who exercised regularly and those who did not. This is what the present study (JM Allen et al, Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 50: 747-757, 2018 ) was designed to clarify.  Is our microbiome affected by exercise?

 

How Was The Study Designed?

is our microbiome affected by exercise studyThis study was performed at the University of Illinois. Thirty-two previously sedentary subjects (average age = 28) were recruited for the study. Twenty of them were women and 12 were men. Prior to starting the study, the participants filled out a 7-day dietary record. They were asked to follow the same diet throughout the 12-week study. In addition, a dietitian designed a 3-day food menu based on their 7-day recall for the participants to follow prior to each fecal collection to determine species of gut bacteria.

The study included a two-week baseline when their baseline gut bacteria population was measured, and participants were tested for fitness. This was followed by a 6-week exercise intervention consisting of three supervised 30 to 60-minute moderate to vigorous exercise sessions per week. The exercise was adapted to the participant’s initial fitness level, and both the intensity and duration of exercise increased over the 6-week exercise intervention. Following the exercise intervention, all participants were instructed to maintain their diet and refrain from exercise for another 6 weeks. This was referred to as the “washout period.”

VO2max (a measure of fitness) was determined at baseline and at the end of the exercise intervention. Stool samples for determination of gut bacteria and concentrations of short-chain fatty acids were taken at baseline, at the end of the exercise intervention, and again after the washout period.

In short, this study divided participants into lean and obese categories and held diet constant. The only variable was the exercise component.

 

Is Our Microbiome Affected By Exercise?

is our microbiome affected by exercise fitnessThe results of the study were as follows:

  • Fitness, as assessed by VO2max, increased for all the participants, and the increase in fitness was comparable for both lean and obese subjects.
  • Exercise induced a change in the population of gut bacteria, and the change was comparable in lean and obese subjects.
  • Exercise increased fecal concentrations of butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids in the lean subjects, but not in obese subjects.
  • The exercise-induced changes in gut bacteria and short-chain fatty acid production were largely reversed once exercise training ceased.

The authors concluded: “These findings suggest that exercise training induces compositional and functional changes in the human gut microbiota that are dependent on obesity status, independent of diet, and contingent on the sustainment of exercise.” [Note: To be clear, the exercise-induced changes in both gut bacteria and short-chain fatty acid production were independent of diet and contingent on the sustainment of exercise. However, only the production of short-chain fatty acids was dependent on obesity status.]

 

What Does This Study Mean For You?

is our microbiome affected by exercise gut bacteriaThere are two important take home lessons from this study.

  • With respect to our gut bacteria, I have consistently told you that microbiome research is an emerging science. This is a small study, so you should regard it as the beginning of our understanding of the effect of exercise on our microbiome rather than conclusive by itself. It is consistent with previous studies showing an association between exercise and a potentially beneficial shift in the population of gut bacteria.

The strength of the study is that it shows that exercise-induced changes in beneficial gut bacteria are probably independent of diet. However, it is the first study to look at the interaction between obesity, exercise and gut bacteria, so I would interpret those results with caution until they have been replicated in subsequent studies.

  • With respect to exercise, this may be yet another reason to add regular physical activity to your healthy lifestyle program. We already know that exercise is important for cardiovascular health. We also know that exercise increases lean muscle mass which increases metabolic rate and helps prevent obesity. There is also excellent evidence that exercise improves mood and helps prevent cognitive decline as we age.

Exercise is also associated with decreased risk of colon cancer and irritable bowel disease. This effect of exercise has not received much attention because the mechanism of this effect is unclear. This study shows that exercise increases the fecal concentrations of butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids. Perhaps, this provides the mechanism for the interaction between exercise and intestinal health.

 

The Bottom Line

A recent study has reported that:

  • Exercise induces a change in the population of gut bacteria, and the change was comparable in lean and obese subjects.
  • Exercise causes an increase in the number of gut bacteria that produce butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids that are beneficial for gut health.
  • These effects are independent of diet, but do not appear to be independent of obesity because they were seen in lean subjects but not in obese subjects.
  • The exercise-induced changes in gut bacteria and short-chain fatty acid production are largely reversed once exercise training ceases.

The authors concluded: “These findings suggest that exercise training induces compositional and functional changes in the human gut microbiota that are dependent on obesity status, independent on diet, and contingent on the sustainment of exercise.”

For more details and my interpretation of the data, read the article above.

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

UA-43257393-1