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Scientists Are Collecting Poop From Elite Athletes to Try to Put Their Endurance in a Pill

In an ingenious idea to find a way to market extreme health in a pill, a microbiologist at Harvard Medical School is studying elite athletes’ poop to identify micro-organisms that help them be winners at what they do. According to Quartz, the ultimate goal would be a probiotic based on replicated bacteria from these athletes’ poop. The pills could then be sold to non-elite athletes to shore up their endurance — and possibly create a winning touch to their performance.

While I’m a great believer in using probiotics and prebiotics to help restore your gut, for example, when you have to take antibiotics, I’ve never thought it possible to get everything you need for great health in a pill. And that goes for whether you’re building strong bones and muscles or supporting a solid gut microbiome that feeds those bones and muscles.

It’s true that nourishing your gut bacteria is critical for your health and well-being, but the best way to do that is to eliminate sugars and processed foods — which contain sugars and artificial flavorings — and eat traditionally fermented and fiber-rich foods. Committing to improving your gut microbiome in this way will do more than develop good bowel habits; you’ll likely experience easier weight loss, better health, improved mood and reduced risk of some cancers — something no pill, probiotic or not, can ever promise.

If you want to optimize your gut, one of the simplest, easiest and most cost-effective ways is to begin with a starter culture for fermented foods. Optimizing your vitamin D levels will also help. And, of course, exercising and training, whether you’re an athlete or not, always is part of the equation.
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