What is Veillonella and how does this bacteria increase athletic performance?

July 02, 2023 3 min read

What is Veillonella and how does this bacteria increase athletic performance?

Veillonella is a genus of anaerobic, gram-negative bacteria that inhabit various parts of the human body, including the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and vagina. This genus is among the most prevalent and abundant bacterial groups found in the human gut microbiota, and recent research has revealed their potential roles in human health and disease.

Basics: Veillonella bacteria have unique metabolic capabilities that allow them to metabolize lactate, a byproduct of anaerobic glycolysis, as their primary energy source. This feature makes them a key player in the gut microbial ecosystem by enabling them to scavenge lactate produced by other gut bacteria, thereby reducing lactate accumulation, which can cause inflammation and gut dysbiosis. Veillonella bacteria also produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including propionate, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and regulate host metabolism.

Functions: Recent research has suggested that Veillonella bacteria have a number of important functions in human health, including:

  1. Athletic Performance: A study published in the journal Nature Medicine found that athletes with high levels of Veillonella bacteria in their gut microbiota had enhanced athletic performance. This was attributed to their ability to metabolize lactate produced during exercise, which can improve endurance.
  2. Immune Regulation: Veillonella bacteria have been shown to promote the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10), which help to regulate the immune response and prevent excessive inflammation.
  3. Gut Health: Veillonella bacteria are important members of the gut microbiota and have been associated with reduced risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other gut-related conditions.
  4. Oral Health: Veillonella bacteria are commonly found in the oral cavity, where they help to maintain oral health by producing SCFAs and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

Research: Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of Veillonella bacteria in human health and disease. In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers found that Veillonella bacteria were present in higher levels in the gut microbiota of elite athletes compared to sedentary individuals. Another study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe found that Veillonella bacteria were associated with reduced risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a mouse model.

How to boost Veillonella: There are several ways to boost the levels of Veillonella bacteria in the gut microbiota:

  1. Diet: Foods rich in lactate, such as yogurt, kefir, and sourdough bread, can provide a source of energy for Veillonella bacteria.
  2. Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to increase the levels of Veillonella bacteria in the gut microbiota, which may improve athletic performance.
  3. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Probiotic and prebiotic supplements can help to increase the levels of Veillonella bacteria in the gut microbiota. HMO prebiotic (2’-FL) is helpful to boost the level of Veillonella based on a study conducted on human fecal samples.

References:

  1. Scheiman, J. et al. Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism. Nat. Med. 25, 1104–1109 (2019).
  2. Suez, J. et al. Post-Antibiotic Gut Mucosal Microbiome Reconstitution Is Impaired by Probiotics and Improved by Autologous FMT. Cell 174, 1406-1423.e16 (2018).
  3. Rivera-Chávez, F. et al. Depletion of Butyrate-Producing Clostridia from the Gut Microbiota Drives an Aerobic Luminal Expansion of Salmonella. Cell Host & Microbe 19, 443–454 (2016).
  4. de Groot PF, Belzer C, Aydin Ö, et al. Distinct fecal metagenomics and metabolomics signatures and microbial associations in hospitalized children with diarrhea. PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0206906. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0206906
  5. Lindner, Cordula, et al. "Infant Fecal Fermentations with Galacto-Oligosaccharides and 2′-Fucosyllactose Show Differential Bifidobacterium longum Stimulation at Subspecies Level." Children 10.3 (2023): 430.


Leave a comment


Also in THE LAYER ORIGIN NUTRITION BLOG

Fiber and Prebiotics: Are They All the Same?
Fiber and Prebiotics: Are They All the Same?

March 03, 2024 8 min read

Discover the difference between fibre, prebiotics or prebiotic fibre and how they each benefit your health.
Read More
Apple Peel Powder: What is Quercetin and What Are Its Benefits?
Apple Peel Powder: What is Quercetin and What Are Its Benefits?

February 25, 2024 8 min read

Discover the hidden wonders of apple peel as we reveal the health benefits of quercetin and other nutrients found within. Learn how incorporating the whole apple into your diet can enhance wellness and promote better health.
Read More
Reshaping the gut microbiome following illness with an HMO synbiotic
Reshaping the gut microbiome following illness with an HMO synbiotic

February 18, 2024 7 min read

Read More