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19 March 2012

Just a few minutes of daily exercise alters DNA to help prevent chronic disease

Friday, March 16, 2012 by: John Phillip 

Many people think the genes they inherited at birth are static and predetermine their fate for the remainder of their life. Extensive research into the science of epigenetics is providing startling evidence that this thought process is grossly outdated, and our individual DNA is dynamic and continually influenced by multiple lifestyle factors including diet, environment, stress and physical activity.

Researchers publishing the result of a study in the journalCell Metabolismprovide evidence that that when healthy but inactive men and women exercise for a matter of minutes, it produces a rather immediate change to their DNA. While we cannot change our core DNA code, exercise does influence the DNA molecules within our muscles. Scientists have found that DNA is chemically and structurally altered or expressed in very important ways that affect a myriad of metabolic processes that protect us from chronic disease.

The scientists found that DNA modifications signal precise genetic reprogramming in muscles that determine overall muscle strength as well as structural and metabolic benefits derived from physical activity. Study leader, Dr. Juleen Zierath noted"Our muscles are really plastic ... muscle adapts to what you do. If you don't use it, you lose it, and this is one of the mechanisms that allows that to happen."

Short bursts of moderate intensity exercise positively influences DNA expression

Epigenetic modifications involve the addition or deletion of chemical markers on the DNA strand that change rapidly based on environmental influences such as the nutritional composition of your last meal, pollutants in the environment or the intensity of an exercise workout. Researchers found that DNA within skeletal muscle examined after a short burst of exercise bore fewer chemical markers (specifically methyl groups) than it did before exercise.

The study team specifically determined that the DNA modifications occurred in stretches of DNA that are involved in expressing genes known to be important for muscular adaptation to exercise. This research clearly provides more evidence that our genetic constitution is continually evolving in an effort to protect us, and is positively influenced by short, moderately intense bursts of physical activity. These alterations allow us to adapt quickly to the changing environment that surrounds us.

Dr. Zierath concluded"Exercise is medicine ... and it seems the means to alter our genome for better health may be only a jog away."The finding of this study may explain recent research showing that the best form of exercise works our musculature in short bursts of moderate to full intensity (as measured by attaining maximum heart rate for your age range) for several minutes in duration, followed by a rest period and then another energy burst. Combining this evidence with an organic whole food diet will positively influence your genes toward optimal health.

Sources for this article include:

Seeing as scoliosis is linked to your genes guess what... more reason to exercise and eat right!

About Dr Kevin Lau

Dr Kevin Lau DC is the founder of Health In Your Hands, a series of tools for Scoliosis prevention and treatment. The set includes his book Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment, a companion Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD and the innovative new iPhone application ScolioTrack. Dr Kevin Lau is a graduate in Doctor of Chiropractic from RMIT University in Melbourne Australia and Masters in Holistic Nutrition. He is a member of International Society On Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT), the leading international society on conservative treatment of spinal deformities. In 2006 I was awarded the "Best Health-care Provider Awards" by the largest Newspaper publication in Singapore on October 18 2006 as well as being interviewed on Primetime Channel News Asia as well as other TV and Radio. For more information on Dr Kevin Lau, watch his interviews or get a free sneak peek of his book, go to:

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