RESEARCH--Exercise Improves Gut Bacteria

Many studies show that exercise helps to prevent heart attacks, and it may do so by changing the bacteria in your colon. A recent study from Finland shows that exercising for just six weeks, without any additional change in diet or lifestyle, can increase healthful anti-inflammatory bacteria (Akkermansia) and reduce harmful inflammation-promoting Proteobacteria in your colon (Front Microbiol, October 3, 2018).

In this study, 17 sedentary and overweight women started a heart-rate-regulated exercise program on stationary bicycles for three training sessions per week. After six weeks, stool cultures showed healthful colon bacteria changes, even though the subjects did not lose any weight. There was also a significant reduction in phospholipids and cholesterol in VLDL cholesterol, which is believed to help prevent heart attacks because VLDL cholesterol is converted into the harmful LDL cholesterol that helps to form plaques in your arteries. Exercise also decreased Vascular Adhesion Protein-1, a measure of inflammation that causes plaques to form in arteries and break off to cause heart attacks.

Exercise Promotes Good Gut Bacteria
Two previous studies, one in

PROFILE--Robert Chasen has been running for 49 years

Born with a mystery heart ailment, Robert
Chasen was proud to win an American
Heart Association race in Boston (years ago).
As a kid, Robert Chasen’s primary activity was fishing for catfish along the Saddle River in Paramus, NJ. He also delivered newspapers (in a bygone era!) on his bike, a 3-speed Schwinn, through his neighborhood. Now a podiatrist living in Weymouth, MA, Dr. Bob, 64, has made up for lost time and has accrued more than 125,000 miles of running.    

When did you start running, and why? April of 1969. I started running in 9th grade if you don’t count all my back of the pack last place efforts in gym class in grade school and junior high.  For some reason, I started moving to a middle pack and then towards the front.

Early inspiration? When I was six years old, I missed half of first grade because I was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and mitral valve murmur.  My parents were instructed to give me preventative antibiotics for the rest of my life and to not stress my heart. Later on this was found to be incorrect as medical technology improved, but as a child I was forced

PROFILE--Ellen Wallop has been running for 42 years

Post-race, 2017
(11-18) Ellen Wallop grew up in a family that gathered to watch sports whether it was the Yankees or college football. Her grandfather held the mile record at the University of Delaware in 1908 and encouraged her interest in sports.  As a child she had a heart murmur and was not allowed to participate in strenuous activity but overcame that to run 12 marathons and complete an Ironman. In 1996 she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer that has made a nasty return. Despite that she  starts every day by rejoicing, "I'm still here." 

When did you start running, and why? May, 1976. I was doing a lot of skiing and thought I could build up my leg muscles by running in the off-season.  Because of all the years of being told I had a bad heart I was very, very cautious when I started. I never pushed myself so I never had a bad run! Every run was a good run.

Did you have an early inspiration or person who motivated you?  Grete Waitz, Joan Benoit, Nina Kuscsik. These women were very inspiring to me as they paved the road for other women runners. I remember watching Joan