Epigenetic Changes to Fat Cells Following Exercise

This is encouraging news for me, because I don't always get to the gym as often as I ought. My goal is to attend at least half of the days each month, and I often fall short. In this study the subjects only managed an average of 1.8 aerobics classes a week, but there were still positive changes to the DNA methylation of their fat cells, "... deactivating certain genes and thus reducing their expression. This resulted in changes in fat storage in fat cells."

In the study, the researchers investigated what happened to the methyl groups in the fat cells of 23 slightly overweight, healthy men aged around 35 who had not previously engaged in any physical activity, when they regularly attended spinning and aerobics classes over a six-month period.

"They were supposed to attend three sessions a week, but they went on average 1.8 times,"...

Using technology that analyses 480 000 positions throughout the genome, they could see that epigenetic changes had taken place in 7,000 genes (an individual has 20-25 000 genes). They then went on to look specifically at the methylation in genes linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity.

"We found changes in those genes too, which suggests that altered DNA methylation as a result of physical activity could be one of the mechanisms of how these genes affect the risk of disease,"...

Tags: effects of exercise on fat cells

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