Exercising even less than two gym classes a week can change the expression of genes involved in the storage of fat, Swedish researchers have found.


“Our study shows the positive effects of exercise because the epigenetic pattern of genes that affect fat storage in the body changes,” said Charlotte Ling, associate professor at the Lund University Diabetes Centre.


The cells of the body contain DNA, which contains genes. We inherit our genes and they cannot be changed. The genes, however, have “methyl groups” attached to them that can affect what is done as gene expressions — whether the genes are activated or deactivated, she said.


Researchers investigated what happened to the methyl groups in the fat cells of 23 slightly overweight, healthy men around age 35 who attended an average of 1.8 weekly spinning and aerobic classes for six months. The participants had not previously engaged in any physical activity.


The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, revealed that researchers found more than 7,000 genes were affected.


SOURCE: Toronto Star

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