Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Exercise as the Fountain of Youth

For those of you interested in the endless benefits of fitness, take a look at this article from the NY Times that suggests exercise might be the fountain of youth that not only keeps us young but can also reverse the effects of aging as well.

In an experiment conducted with laboratory mice genetically programmed to age at an accelerated rate, professor of pediatrics at McMaster University Dr. Tarnopolsky found some interesting results that deals largely with Mitochondria – the microscopic power generators that “combine oxygen and nutrients to create fuel for the cells” – and their ability to repair itself.

According to the article, “Many scientists consider the loss of healthy mitochondria to be an important underlying cause of aging in mammals. As resident mitochondria falter, the cells they fuel wither or die. Muscles shrink, brain volume drops, hair falls out or loses its pigmentation, and soon enough we are, in appearance and beneath the surface, old.”

The mice, which carried a genetic mutation affecting how well their bodies repair malfunctioning mitochondria, “were extremely frail and decrepit, with spindly muscles, shrunken brains, enlarged hearts, shriveled gonads and patchy, graying fur” by the time they were 8 months old, or in their early 60s in human years.  All were dead in less than a year of age….

Except the mice that exercised!

Yes, it’s true: Dr. Tarnopolsky found that half the mice that were allowed to run for 45 minutes 3 times a week since the age of three months had full pelts of dark fur, no salt-and-pepper shadings unlike their sedentary counterparts, and “also had maintained almost all of their muscle mass and brain volume. Their gonads were normal, as were their hearts.”

The most surprising finding is that the mice who exercised “had more mitochondria over all and far fewer with mutations than the sedentary mice had” despite harboring the mutation that should’ve affected mitochondrial repair: Proof that exercise had aided these mice repair and reverse the effects of aging.
But perhaps the most appealing benefit of exercise even attracts the young; “While Dr. Tarnopolsky, a lifelong athlete, noted with satisfaction that active, aged mice kept their hair, his younger graduate students were far more interested in the animals’ robust gonads. Their testicles and ovaries hadn’t shrunk, unlike those of sedentary elderly mice.”
Remember, it’s never too late to start exercising and reversing the effects of aging – contact Titan Sports at info@titansb.com or 805-683-1231 to start today!

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