A study published March 2011 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found exercise to halt AND even reverse the signs of aging in mice. . .in virtually every tissue and organ.
According to Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, the study goal was to evaluate the systemic effects of exercise and to find a therapy (i.e. activity) that most people could do if they wanted to. The study focused on cell mitochondria. Mitochondria are found in every cell where food and oxygen are converted into energy. Evidence is showing that as we age our mitochondria break down causing cells to break down. This contributes tissue and organ breakdown leading to signs of aging, such as mental declines, wrinkles, and hair loss.
The mice used in this study had genetically modified dysfunctional mitochondria that caused them to prematurely age. Throughout the study half the mice ran 45 minutes at a moderate intensity level on mini treadmills three times a week. The other half of the mice remained sedentary.
Improvements to All Organ Systems
After a few months the active mice had improvements not only with their running capacity, muscles, and heart, but also improvements were noted in the brain, gonads, skin, hair, spleen, kidneys, and liver. The active mice looked as young and healthy as wild-type mice (mice without a genetic mutation). The sedentary mice were losing fur, graying, and shrinking in size.
What does this mean for you?
You must be active regularly for optimal health.
It’s not too late to start. There are still benefits to being active even if you are over the age of 65 when you start. Plus, you don’t have to run 45 minutes on a treadmill three times a week to see benefits. What’s important is that you get up and get moving.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD