Cultivating Interest in Athleticism-Enhancing Biologicals

The dream for a pill to naturally improve one’s athletic performance is almost here. As researchers study and understand the human body and its interactions with symbiotic and parasitic microbes more and more, they can begin to take advantage of the processes within.

One such process is muscle damage by oxidation. In December 2021, Probiotical, S.P.A. was granted a patent for a bacterial composition that attenuates a decline in athletic performance in an athlete after a muscle-damaging exercise. The species of bacteria included in the composition are Bifidobacterium breve and Streptococcus thermophilus. Soon, probiotics will be a key component in a muscle recovery regime right next to branched-chain amino acids and whey protein. Grand View Research valued the sports nutrition market at $10.7 billion in 2020; let’s see what current patent literature points to.

Patent ‘792 assigned to Probiotical describes using the composition in people who exercise strenuously and infrequently. These people are more prone to exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) such as delayed onset muscle soreness. During repair of the damaged muscle, repair cells target the damaged muscle with reactive oxidative species (ROS) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. B. breve induces the production of an anti-inflammatory molecule, Interleukin 10 (IL-10), while S. thermophilus inhibits the production of Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory molecule, restoring balance to the affected area. By reducing inflammation around damaged muscles, the athlete’s athletic performance decline can be minimized. While early to the space, Probiotical isn’t the only player.

Harvard University is also interested in probiotics for improving athletic performance and was the first to receive a patent in the area in August of 2021. Patent ‘342 discuses using bacteria from the genus Veillonella along with one or more species from the following genera: FaecalibacteriumPhascolarctobacteriaOscillospiraRuminococcusBacteroidesBlautiaDialisterLactobacillus, or in the family Christensenellaceae, or phylum Cyanobacteria to increase or maintain training endurance. This is done by reducing inflammation and lactate build-up and increasing energy metabolism in an athlete through the colonization of beneficial probiotics.  

What interests people more than athletic performance? Healthy Weight, and it’s portrayed through the patents. With America among the top countries struggling with diabetes, this comes as no surprise. A natural pill one could take with little to no side effects that melts off weight has a lot of appeal to it. Naturally, this application of probiotics will see more interest. Sign up for the Gut Microbiome Patent Forecast® and stay tuned for a dive into probiotics for weight loss!