Excessive exercise could pose a threat to your gut, according to a new study. Excessive exercise here implies an intense workout for more than two hours at once. The recent research found out that there would be a higher risk of an impaired gut function in anyone who exercises this way. The researchers named the condition “exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome”. There is a further possibility of damage to cells in the intestine, which could translate to both short term and long term digestion issues. And there are other health dangers as well which could arise from these damages to the intestine.
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) has a role of processing food. It is the long narrow tube that begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. According to the study, strenuous exercise could injure the gut, causing it to become a bit leaky. This leak could permit pathogenic endotoxins into the bloodstream. Usually, these endotoxins are isolated to the intestine, but once they enter the bloodstream, they could lead to severe health complications.
The new findings further revealed that any exercise stress of 2 hours is the limit where the risk of injury to the gut arises dramatically. It is worthy of note that this disturbance of the gut could occur regardless of the individual’s fitness level. This negative effect of the intensity is accentuated even more in hot temperatures.
However, the study doesn’t question the health benefits of moderate exercise. It is believed that even individuals who tend to suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or certain disorders related to the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract will experience healthy returns as a result of moderate exercise. On the other hand, due to this study, now there is evidence against the safety of more intense exercise in these individuals.
The research, which was published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, was conducted by four scientists. The lead researcher, R.J.S Costa, said that the study was a review of studies on the topic from over 20 years ago. He added that some aggravating factors, which can be controlled, have been identified. Costa further said that several prevention strategies that can halt the risk of impaired gut function have been determined. He recommended that a complete gut evaluation during exercise should be done in individuals with signs of gut disturbance during workouts. According to him, this would help ascertain the causes and help create management strategies that are peculiar to each individual.