Intervention study of tai chi training on the intestinal flora of college student basketball players

Author: Dongyang Kang1,2, Xiaorong Wang3, Jiahong Wang4
1 Chengdu Sport University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
2 Department of Physical Education, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, China.
3 Department of Physical Education, Luoyang Polytechnic, Luoyang, China.
4 Department of Physical Education, Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Conference/Journal: Medicine (Baltimore)
Date published: 2023 Sep 8
Other: Volume ID: 102 , Issue ID: 36 , Pages: e35044 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000035044. , Word Count: 284

In recent years, the interactions between host and host-associated gut flora have received increasingly widespread attention. Tai chi is a traditional Chinese exercise, which can significantly benefit adults with health condition. But the studies on the function of intestinal flora and its correlation with tai chi exercise, are limited. In addition, the influence of tai chi on intestinal flora has largely been understudied. In this study, we investigated the changes in intestinal microflora by 16S rRNA sequencing to clarify the specific mechanism of tai chi on the regulation of intestinal flora and seek to formulate a reasonable "exercise prescription."

Design: randomized controlled trial. Participants: thirty college basketball players randomly divided into control (n = 15) and test (n = 15) groups. Intervention: experimental group practiced 24-style simplified tai chi ≥ 6 times/week for 20 weeks. Outcomes: serum biochemical markers, blood pressure, and intestinal microbial composition measured post-intervention. Analysis: intent-to-treat analysis.

Primary outcomes: after tai chi intervention, the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (1.22 mmol/L) and triglycerides (0.64 mmol/L) were significantly decreased. Secondary outcomes: aspartate transaminase, alanine aminotransferase, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein remained unchanged. Microbiota: α-diversity index significantly increased, particularly with increased Blautia. Blood pressure: test group showed significantly lower diastolic blood pressure (83-95 mm Hg) compared to control.

Considering other markers, increased gut flora diversity during exercise may imply a healthier gut environment. Physical exercise promotes a decrease in the inflammatory process by reducing the levels of bacteria associated with pro-inflammation, such as Proteobacteria. Further research is required to understand the nuanced link between gut flora diversity and exercise intensity.

24-style simplified tai chi enhances human intestinal flora diversity. Improvements observed in blood lipid profiles and blood pressure levels.

PMID: 37682169 PMCID: PMC10489434 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000035044