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Exercise improves your DNA?
Old 01-29-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Exercise improves your DNA?

Here's a story I just heard on the news this evening. It was another interesting twins study. Apparently, exercise is linked to younger DNA. The news story showed seniors in an exercise class moving their arms and legs at about level 2 of exertion. The two bits of information didn't quite jive for me, but I was interested so I looked up the longer print story("telomeres" are parts of the DNA).

"To try to separate the influences of heredity and lifestyle, researchers at King's College in London studied more than 2,401 sets of twins.
The length of the twins' telomeres was directly related to their activity levels, the researchers found. People who did a moderate amount of exercise about 100 minutes a week of activity such as tennis, swimming or running had telomeres that on average looked like those of someone about five or six years younger than those who did the least about 16 minutes a week. Those who did the most doing about three hours a week of moderate to vigorous activity had telomeres that appeared to be about nine years younger than those who did the least."
Nation & World | Exercise linked to "younger" DNA | Seattle Times Newspaper

I think the key words are "moderate to vigorous activity," a detail that my local TV news failed to illustrate. Anyway, pretty interesting.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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makes sense, since lifestyle can damage dna, why not improve it. now if i could just find an exercise that will get rid of my grey hair.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:15 AM   #3
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This is really interesting. Does exercise make the DNA's telomeres longer? (ie: younger?) or does the exercise keep the telomeres from shrinking? (ie; not aging).
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
Here's a story I just heard on the news this evening. It was another interesting twins study. Apparently, exercise is linked to younger DNA.
This is actually the second research article I've heard about that links exercise to cellular health. In this research they counted the number of telomeres at the end of the cell's DNA strands. Telomeres are a sort of chemical cap that ties the ends of the two strands of DNA, called the "sense" and "nonsense" strands, in each pair of chromosomes together.

Theory suggests that the number of telomeres in our bodies is set during embryonic development, and each time the cell divides each daughter cell gets half of the supply of telomeres. As a cell continues to divide, its child cells have fewer and fewer of these cap pieces, and that acts as a signal to the cell to let it know it should divide more slowly, because when it runs out, the cell line dies.

There are other mechanisms that also reduce telomere populations, and these other factors are not well understood. This study suggests that exercise helps the cell combat these other, unknown, enemies of the peaceful, innocent Telomeres. (Doesn't the name just sound like a tribe of alien beings being besieged by a hostile alien race?)

The other interesting study about exercise and improving the age of the body's cells that came to my attention in the last year or so had to do with mitochondria. Mitochondria are an organelle (structure) within cells that act as the primary engine for converting sugars into energy the cells can use. They're actually thought to be an ancient, evolutionary cellular parasite, complete with their own unique genetic makeup that is separate from that we inherit from ma & pa. (Mitochondrial DNA is inherited entirely from mom.)

The problem is that, as most people age, our mitochondria become sloppy and inefficient, suffer genetic damage. Many mitochondria outright die off, leaving the cells with less available energy to do their jobs, often leading to cell death. That's what happens to most older people, but not those who lead an active lifestyle. People who exercise have mitochondria that remain as vital and healthy as if they were young men and women. The interesting thing this study showed was, if you start exercising late in life, your mitochondria act as if they have found the fountain of youth, becoming more energetic, reproducing within the cell, and even reversing damage to the mitochondrial DNA.

Both studies are fascinating. I'm glad I've been a life-long fitness buff.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:12 AM   #5
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I am only talking from experience, but I still run upwards of 70 miles a week and I am 51 and been running since the 6th grade, yes over 40 years and nope my knees are fine my hips are fine really no pain at all. I have friends that never really exercised over the past 25 to 30 years except hitting golf balls and two have had their hips replaced at 51.

I continue to watch what I eat, not a freak about food, but always think, never eat fast food, drink 1 ,2 or maybe a third drink most days. wine red, Beer any type and my favorite fresh lime and orange juice with gran manier and tequila, the trouble with that one is two and you are not driving anyplace anymore for the next 6 hours.

DNA, must be improving, my skin still looks good, my nails are healthy, hair is still shiny, what is left.. But I wake up ready to attack the world. I never feel fatigued even later in the day after a long 12 to 15 mile run. Sleep great, have a great relationship with my great wife/

So I guess major exercise and weigh control with a healthy dose of self worth and enjoying the fact that I was given another day on the planet when I wake up in the morning helps with staying well young at heart? The only downside I have is the blood pressure issue that I had even in High School. I take my 75mg of topril XL and 5 mg of lisinopril and it is in the 118/70 range.

Enjoy, In addition I have even given up political rantings here on the forum, many here put the newguy on ignore when I was adding political postings from all over the place. Again self actualization looking in the mirror as I did and always do made me make another better decision.

Ramble on...
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rocketdog View Post
This is really interesting. Does exercise make the DNA's telomeres longer? (ie: younger?) or does the exercise keep the telomeres from shrinking? (ie; not aging).
That is a very interesting question! Apparently stress shortens telomeres.
3 Key Aging Concepts

But this news analysis says that the new study doesn't prove that exercise prevents telomeres from shortening. Exercise and live longer

"Although it does show an association between telomere length and exercise, it does not prove that exercise affected telomere length as the study only examined individuals once. Scientists are still some way from being able to explain the effect that physical activity has on individual cells, and this study contributes to our knowledge. "

It's pretty interesting to read the variety of interpretations of various new "breakthrough" research studies.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Enjoy, In addition I have even given up political rantings here on the forum, many here put the newguy on ignore when I was adding political postings from all over the place. Again self actualization looking in the mirror as I did and always do made me make another better decision.

Ramble on...
Newguy, you are doing great. I think you are an ironman.

As far as your political posts, I always read them. It isn't like you spent your life in some suburban office park talking only to fellow engineers and managers.

You at least have some personal experience with most of what you are opining on. Wouldn't the world be a dull place if all our opinions had to agree with the most timid or restrictive person in the room? (Have to admit that this seems to be how it is going lately in the larger world away from our little den here).

Carry on!

Ha
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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Newguy, you are doing great. I think you are an ironman.

As far as your political posts, I always read them. It isn't like you spent your life in some suburban office park talking only to fellow engineers and managers.

You at least have some personal experience with most of what you are opining on. Wouldn't the world be a dull place if all our opinions had to agree with the most timid or restrictive person in the room? (Have to admit that this seems to be how it is going lately in the larger world away from our little den here).

Carry on!

Ha
Again, while I do not agree with most of newguy's political rants, I do respect the fact they are made with thought behind them, unlike "other" posters........
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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Again, while I do not agree with most of newguy's political rants, I do respect the fact they are made with thought behind them, unlike "other" posters........
Well thank you. Now as you have seen I have gotten away from the political landscape. As I have gotten further into my retirement I find it less in my interest to well give a rats you know what about things we really have very little control over and arguing about political nonsense is well counter productive, especially here on the forum. I did like your comment a few eeks back about something I posted and you mentioned a runaway cigarette boat.

Anyway its great to be doing very little and lovin every second of it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
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Well thank you. Now as you have seen I have gotten away from the political landscape. As I have gotten further into my retirement I find it less in my interest to well give a rats you know what about things we really have very little control over and arguing about political nonsense is well counter productive, especially here on the forum. I did like your comment a few eeks back about something I posted and you mentioned a runaway cigarette boat.

Anyway its great to be doing very little and lovin every second of it.
I hope tobe doing that someday myself. I was asked to be an assistant coach for the local cross country team starting this late summer/fall. I am pondering it, and the head coach is a guy I used to run against many moons ago...........
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