When we look at fitness we often focus on what is happening on the outside but the best benefits happen from the inside out. A new study in the March issue of Cell Metabolism shows that when people exercise it can alter their DNA almost instantly. These DNA alterations are likened to tune-ups helping our bodies to work more efficiently.
Juleen Zierath, a professor of physiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reports about these very early changes that muscle cells undergo the first time you get off the couch and into the gym. Using biopsied muscle samples, researchers compared the activity in a series of muscle-related genes before and after exercise. More genes were turned on and the DNA showed LESS methylation, which limits the cell’s ability to switch on certain genes. The more intense the exercise the more the genetic groups are on the move.
While the research shows the great benefits of exercise for everyone, it also highlights why exercise is important for people prone to type 2 diabetes. She also pointed out that exercise is one known way to maintain insulin sensitivity of organs and prevent diabetes. Her previous study showed that diabetics have different DNA methyl group patterns than healthy individuals, partially explaining why they cannot regulate their insulin levels.
However, the main genetic code isn’t changed, which means you won’t go from a brown eyed to blue, but rather the DNA molecules within your muscles are structurally changed at specific locations. So, the main genetic code changes we will leave to science fiction right now.
Just another great reason to go to WhenEver Fitness, Lets change some DNA!