Friday, March 4, 2011

News You Can Use: Exercise May Reduce Effects of Aging

New research released this week by the National Academy of Sciences showed that exercise effectively reduced or eliminated most detrimental effects of aging in lab mice that had been genetically altered to age at an accelerated rate. This could have a significant impact on how we understand the benefits of exercise in the long term.

Read more after the jump.

The mice in question were genetically programed to age rapidly. At 3 months, the mice were the equivalent of 20 human years old. At 8 months, they were in their 60s. The mice were divided into two groups. The group that did not exercise was dead before reaching a year. The group that did exercise ran on a wheel at a brisk pace for 45 minute, three times per week. At 8 months old, when the non-exercising mice were bald, sick and dying, the running mice remained healthy and maintained all their fur. They also maintained muscle mass, brain volume, and heart function.

The most exciting results were actually in relation to how the body repairs mitochondria, which scientists believe to be an important factor in aging in mammals. Full disclosure: I am not a science person, but the results sound incredible and I urge you to read up for yourself.

Here are some links that discuss this work further:

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