The beneficial health effects of exercise—including reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes—are well known, but the underlying biological mechanisms of these benefits are unclear. A new study takes a look at how regular exercise impacts health and metabolism.
Using a system that analyzes blood samples, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have developed a "chemical snapshot" of the metabolic effects of exercise. Their findings may improve understanding of the physiologic effects of exercise and may help develop new therapies for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. . The study appears in the May issue of Science Translational Medicine.
"We found new metabolic signatures that clearly distinguish more-fit from less-fit individuals during exercise," says study author Gregory Lewis, M.D., of the MGH Heart Center. "These results have implications for the development of optimal training programs and improved assessment of cardiovascular fitness."
Benefits of exercise:
• Prevents chronic disease.
• Aids in weight management.
• Boosts energy level.
• Regulates sleep patterns.
• Lowers blood pressure.
After exercising, participants who were more fit had a 98 percent increase in the breakdown of stored fat, sugar and amino acids, while less-fit people had only a 48 percent increase. "Our results have implications for development of both diagnostic testing to track and improve exercise performance and for interventions to reduce the effects of diabetes or heart disease,” says study author Robert Gerszten, M.D.
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