Gut Health And Sports Injuries

- By Megan Nagy


Are you fuelling your injury recovery? If not, you might be delaying your recovery.


As an athlete, taking pre and probiotics for recovery wasn’t really on my radar. As I advanced my education in nutritional sciences, I started to put the puzzle pieces together. The bacterial profile of your gut can have an effect on inflammation and tissue health, independent of other lifestyle factors. For example, obese mice have more harmful bacteria in their guts compared to lean mice, which cause inflammation throughout their bodies, leading to very rapid joint deterioration. While a common prebiotic supplement did not help the mice shed weight, it completely reversed the other symptoms, making the guts and joints of obese mice indistinguishable from lean mice.

We also know that supplements such as collagen, or eating collagen rich foods such as bone broth, can aid in tissue and ligament repair and healing. A part of this may be because collagen helps to strengthen the gut wall, making it less permeable and more likely to retain nutrients from food. It also keeps our intestines flexible due to its elastic qualities, which helps to move food around and increase absorption further. 

Therefore, adding things like pre and probiotics, and collagen into your diet are beneficial not only for your gut bacteria, but also for your joints and recovery protocol. More research is being done to understand the skin's microbiome and how it interacts with wounds and tissue, which could be incredibly helpful in terms of infection care down the road as well. And, now that drug-resistant bacteria are posing a real threat to human health, alternatives to classic antibiotics are needed, and fast. 

Changes in the microbiome influence tendon healing and enhance the positive effects of dexamethasone treatment during the early remodeling phase of tendon healing. --

The clinical relevance is that the positive effect of dexamethasone on early tendon remodeling in rats is strikingly strong. If similar effects could be shown in humans, immune modulation by a few days of systemic corticosteroids, or more specific compounds, could open new approaches to rehabilitation after tendon injury.

When we put the work in to physically rehabilitate, why don't we fuel the body with the nutritional components it needs to rebuild?

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