Published on March 7th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Exercise Changes Your DNA, Study Finds
It’s not news that exercise and fitness are life-extending activities (and that a sedentary lifestyle can kill you, even if you aren’t overweight), but a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism reveals that the changes affected in the body by regular exercise are such that they can alter your DNA.
Researchers discovered that as little as 20 minutes on an exercise bike (or coffee, but in quantities so large it would be impossible to consume at between 50 and 100 cups) caused changes in the DNA of study participants- but the physical activity has to be of the sort that makes it difficult to carry on a conversation. Professor Juleen Zierath from University of Copenhagen and Karolinska Institute said the study set out to determine what made muscles better burn fuel and explains the findings somewhat poetically:
“…to our great surprise, it was the cellular identity tag, the methyl -group, which un-glues certain pages in the DNA cookbook so the cell starts producing enzymes that increase fuel burning in the surrounding muscle tissue. Who could have thought that something so fundamental as methyl groups, which in essence defines how your own personal DNA expresses itself in your own body, also partakes in something as transient as fuel burning?”
“…it is only when you move, that these pages are open – so to speak. When you stop exercising, the pages are glued back together almost instantly.”
A more in-depth look at the study’s results can be found here.