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Review

Can Physical Activity Influence Human Gut Microbiota Composition Independently of Diet? A Systematic Review

1
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Roma, Italy
2
Department of Movement Sciences and Wellbeing, University of Naples “Parthenope”, 80133 Napoli, Italy
3
Department of Movement, Human, and Health Sciences, University of Rome “Foro Italico”, 00135 Roma, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Ruggiero Francavilla
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061890
Received: 15 April 2021 / Revised: 21 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 31 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
Evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) influences the human gut microbiota composition, but its role is unclear because of dietary interference. The aim of this review is to clarify this issue from this new perspective in healthy individuals. Articles analyzing intestinal microbiota from fecal samples by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing were selected by searching the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science until December 2020. For each study, methodological quality was assessed, and results about microbiota biodiversity indices, phylum and genus composition, and information on PA and diet were considered. From 997 potentially relevant articles, 10 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Five studies involved athletes, three were performed on active people classified on the basis of habitual PA level, and two among sedentary subjects undergoing exercise interventions. The majority of the studies reported higher variability and prevalence of the phylum Firmicutes (genera Ruminococcaceae or Fecalibacteria) in active compared to inactive individuals, especially in athletes. The assessment of diet as a possible confounder of PA/exercise effects was completed only in four studies. They reported a similar abundance of Lachnospiraceae, Paraprevotellaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Veillonellaceae, which are involved in metabolic, protective, structural, and histological functions. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; diet; microbiota; human; gut; healthy; biodiversity physical activity; diet; microbiota; human; gut; healthy; biodiversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dorelli, B.; Gallè, F.; De Vito, C.; Duranti, G.; Iachini, M.; Zaccarin, M.; Preziosi Standoli, J.; Ceci, R.; Romano, F.; Liguori, G.; Romano Spica, V.; Sabatini, S.; Valeriani, F.; Cattaruzza, M.S. Can Physical Activity Influence Human Gut Microbiota Composition Independently of Diet? A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1890. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061890

AMA Style

Dorelli B, Gallè F, De Vito C, Duranti G, Iachini M, Zaccarin M, Preziosi Standoli J, Ceci R, Romano F, Liguori G, Romano Spica V, Sabatini S, Valeriani F, Cattaruzza MS. Can Physical Activity Influence Human Gut Microbiota Composition Independently of Diet? A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):1890. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061890

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dorelli, Barbara, Francesca Gallè, Corrado De Vito, Guglielmo Duranti, Matteo Iachini, Matteo Zaccarin, Jacopo Preziosi Standoli, Roberta Ceci, Ferdinando Romano, Giorgio Liguori, Vincenzo Romano Spica, Stefania Sabatini, Federica Valeriani, and Maria S. Cattaruzza 2021. "Can Physical Activity Influence Human Gut Microbiota Composition Independently of Diet? A Systematic Review" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 1890. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061890

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