Friday, September 20, 2013

Exercise and LIVE

In this study, researchers looked at tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and leptin as chronic inflammation markers.

Leptin is known primarily for its role in appetite suppression, but it can also show inflammation, and these two roles are related.

In this study, subjects showed a 29% decrease in TNF-α, 33% decrease in CRP, and an 18% decrease in leptin after resistance training for 12 weeks.

The control group showed no similar change. Knitting and general socializing didn't alter the inflammatory proteins.

IL-6: A different story
Unlike the other inflammatory markers studied, there was no overall change in IL-6. However, IL-6 is a bit of a special case. That's because, depending on where it originates, it can be either pro-inflammatory (i.e. it increases inflammation) or an anti-inflammatory (i.e. it reduces inflammation).

IL-6 deriving from immune cells (macrophages) is pro-inflammatory, while IL-6 from muscle cells (myocytes) is anti-inflammatory. Contracting muscles (as in exercise) produce IL-6 that is anti-inflammatory, causing a huge spike in muscle-produced IL-6.

In this study, exercisers showed a 40-60% increase in IL-6 immediately after exercise, which was expected. But training for 12 weeks didn't result in an overall change.

Here's another interesting result: There was also a 20% increase in IL-10 (interleukin-10), an anti-inflammatory protein.

Quick recap.

Inflammatory markers: decrease

•TNF-α: 29% less
•CRP: 33% less
•Leptin: 18% less
Anti-inflammatory marker: increase

•IL-10: 20% more
Another cool finding:

There was an inverse relationship between strength and inflammation. The stronger the women were, the lower their CRP and leptin.

Understanding how chronic inflammation works and how to stop it is crucial, because chronic inflammation is at the root of most lifestyle disease, from Alzheimer's to cancer to stroke to everything in between.

In other words, exercise is to have a good long and active life, exercise is to feel good.  Don't exercise to burn calories, be active and exercise to be alive while you are living.

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