“We know that being lean rather than obese is protective from many diseases, but key rodent studies tell us that being lean from eating less, as opposed to exercising more, has greater benefit for living longer. This study was designed to understand better why that is,” said Derek M. Huffman, the study’s lead author.
The study applies only to rodents, which are different in some key ways from humans, cautions Huffman. However, at least two studies which examined people who engage in high-volume exercise versus people who restricted their calorie intake, had a similar outcome: caloric restriction has physiological benefits that exercise alone does not. Researchers expect that clues to the physiology of longevity in mice will eventually be applied to people, Huffman said.
The study, “Effect of exercise and calorie restriction on biomarkers of aging in mice,” appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Physiology published by The American Physiological Society (APS; www.The-APS.org). The study was carried out by Huffman, Douglas R. Moellering, William E. Grizzle, Cecil R. Stockard, Maria S. Johnson and Tim R. Nagy, all of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and funded by the UAB Center for Aging. Dr. Huffman is now at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
The study built upon previous studies that showed:
• Rats that exercise regularly will, on average, live longer compared to a group that eats the same amount but does not exercise. This is because exercise prevents some diseases, which allows more individual animals to live out their expected life span.
• However, when comparing the rats in these two groups that eat the same amount, the longest-lived animals in the exercise group don’t live any longer than the longest-lived rats in the non-exercise group. Taken together, these findings indicate that exercise can prevent an early death from disease in some rats, but does not extend the maximal lifespan of any of the rats.
• When comparing rats that exercise to those that don’t exercise but eat much less, the longest-lived rats are from the group that ate less.
Taken together, these findings indicate that caloric restriction protects against disease better than exercise does, and has the added benefit of extending the life span of some rats. Physiologists have been trying to unravel the reasons for this, and two major theories have emerged.
One theory is that exercise places stress on the body, which can result in damage to the tissues and DNA. Another theory is that caloric restriction leads to physiological changes which benefit the body.
Huffman and his colleagues designed a study to examine the roles of exercise and caloric restriction, singly and combined. They controlled for factors such as weight and the amount of energy expended versus the calories consumed.
• Mice allowed to eat as much as they wanted had higher insulin levels, regardless of whether they exercised. That is, how much the mice ate determined their insulin level, while exercise did not have much effect. High insulin levels are associated with a risk of diabetes.
• The animals that ate as much as they wanted and did not exercise had the highest levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which plays a key role in regulating cell growth and cell death. The animals on caloric restriction had the lowest levels of IGF-1. Exercise also seemed to play an important role in regulating IGF-1 levels.
• There were some elevated levels of heat shock proteins, a measure of oxidative stress and possible tissue damage among the exercising mice. But total protein carbonyls, another stress measure, were not significantly different.
• Both exercise and caloric restriction moderated the level of 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of DNA damage. Among the animals that ate all they wanted, those that did not exercise had the highest levels of 8-OHdG and those that exercised had much lower levels. The researchers concluded that DNA damage increases with age and is accelerated by obesity but could be slowed by caloric restriction and/or exercise. The researchers noted, however, that the results may differ if they had used older mice or subjected them to greater caloric restriction than the mild (9% fewer calories) or moderate (18%) restriction this study employed.
Overall, these findings indicate that the physiological stress of exercise did not produce enough damage to tissues or DNA to explain why exercise does not lengthen life span. Instead the study suggests that caloric restriction creates beneficial changes in the body’s hormone levels which exercise does not. The researchers concluded that these metabolic changes play a role in extending life.
A handful of studies comparing calorie restricted people to people who are avid exercisers, found similar hormonal benefits among those eating less. However, calorie restriction studies are difficult to carry out in people because participants often complain of feeling hungry, lethargic, and cold.
Huffman also emphasized that the benefits of exercise may be greater for humans than for mice because people are more prone to develop cardiovascular diseases, and exercise is particularly good at warding off those diseases. Mice tend to die of kidney disease and cancer, Huffman said.
“I wouldn’t say this study has direct implications for people right now,” Huffman said. “But it shows what physiological changes caloric restriction and exercise produce. We can continue to build upon these findings until we can get a better understanding of how this works in people.”
Christine Guilfoy | newswise
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences