Impact of Exercise on Gut Microbiota in Obesity

Nutrients. 2021 Nov 10;13(11):3999. doi: 10.3390/nu13113999.


Physical activity, exercise, or physical fitness are being studied as helpful nonpharmacological therapies to reduce signaling pathways related to inflammation. Studies describing changes in intestinal microbiota have stated that physical activity could increase the microbial variance and enhance the ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes, and both actions could neutralize the obesity progression and diminish body weight. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the literature describing the relationship between physical activity profiles and gut microbiota and in obesity and some associated comorbidities. Promoting physical activity could support as a treatment to maintain the gut microbiota composition or to restore the balance toward an improvement of dysbiosis in obesity; however, these mechanisms need to be studied in more detail. The opportunity to control the microbiota by physical activity to improve health results and decrease obesity and related comorbidities is very attractive. Nevertheless, several incompletely answered questions need to be addressed before this strategy can be implemented.

Keywords: children; gut microbiota; health; humans; non-communicable diseases; obesity; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteroidetes
  • Body Weight
  • Dysbiosis
  • Exercise*
  • Firmicutes
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Noncommunicable Diseases
  • Obesity* / metabolism