Exercise causes short-term changes in DNA; may have implications for type 2 diabetes

Online Magazine, The Scientist, reports that exercise can delay the onset of diabetes by boosting the expression of genes involved in muscle oxidation and glucose regulation.

People with type 2 diabetes are less responsive to insulin than healthy individuals, and thus have difficulties maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Certain metabolic genes, such as those involved in glucose transport and mitochondrial regulation, have been shown to be expressed at lower levels in diabetics, possibly explaining their decreased insulin responsiveness.

In a recent study published March 6th in Cell Metabolism, researchers “took thigh muscle tissue samples from 14 healthy people who did not exercise regularly before and after they rode on an exercise bike for 20 minutes. Homing in on metabolic genes that tend to be expressed in lower levels in type 2 diabetics, they saw that, within three hours of exercise, promoters for these genes lost their methyl marks, making them available for transcription. Indeed, these methylation changes in turn correlated with upregulation of the genes.”

Read more about this study and what it means for diabetics:

http://the-scientist.com/2012/03/06/exercise-alters-epigenetics/

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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