Good Vibrations – boosting the gut microbiome
Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a form of passive exercise that involves standing on a platform that vibrates between 15 and 70 times per second. New research suggests its benefits may result from a boost in gut bacteria.
Research into the possible benefits of WBV have shown improvements in muscle performance, bone density, strength and balance, and a reduction in inflammation. Some research has even shown a reversal of some symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
The new study, at Augusta University in Georgia, found that mice given 20-minute WBV sessions daily for four weeks had a 17-fold increase in a crucial gut bacterium known as Alistipes.
Alistipes, which helps to ferment food in the gut, is generally found in lower levels in people with Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
WBV also led to higher levels of M2 macrophages – immune cells that suppress inflammation – and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Further research is needed to fully understand the phenomenon, which further illustrates the importance of the microbiome in our wellbeing.
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