Physical Health: Probiotics and selenium improved performance

L. plantarum for triathlete endurance

In an earlier study by these doctors, the probiotic L. plantarum reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, improving athletic performance. Here, they wanted to understand how L. plantarum might help maintain healthy gut microbiota under the stress of a triathlon. Twenty triathletes, with a minimum five years of training, took a placebo or L. plantarum at 30 billion colony-forming units per day, along with their regular exercise program. After four weeks, those taking L. plantarum saw running endurance increase 130 percent compared to placebo. In addition, doctors measured beneficial changes in gut microbiota, including increases in good bacteria, and decreases in unfavorable strains, in those taking L. plantarum probiotics.

Selenium for mature muscle & bone

Having good selenium levels can help maintain aging muscle and bone. In this study of 791 men and women, aged at least 85, more than half were low, consuming less than 40 mcg of selenium per day, while only 14 percent got the adequate 75 mcg amount. Women, at 73 percent, were much more likely than men, at 27 percent, to be low in selenium. In a test of handgrip strength, those low in selenium of either sex on average exerted six pounds less pressure compared to those with good selenium levels. In a second test of the time it takes to get up and walk from a seated position, the low-selenium group took an average 2.3 seconds longer compared to those with higher selenium levels.

Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 8, 2315

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