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HomeHealthPhysical activity does not have the same effect on everyone

Physical activity does not have the same effect on everyone


  • The beneficial effects of exercise vary from person to person.
  • This difference would come from the different proteins in the blood.
  • The researchers succeeded in identifying proteins associated with certain virtues of exercise, in particular cardio-respiratory.

Regardless of age, doctors recommend regular physical activity. Sport is recognized for its health benefits, but these effects are not the same from one individual to another. A study published in the journal Nature Metabolism shows the correlation between physical fitness and overall health, as well as the reasons for the differences in the benefits of exercise.

Studying proteins in the blood to understand the effects of sport

“Although the groups as a whole benefited from the exercise, the difference in responses between two people doing the same physical activity is actually quite striking,” according to Robert E. Gerszten, one of the authors of the study. For example, some people will increase their stamina, while others will see an improvement in their “blood sugar”, blood sugar levels. According to Robert E. Gerszten, until now it was not possible to predict which patients were most likely to benefit from sport for their cardio-respiratory health.To find out, the team studied 5,000 proteins in 650 sedentary adults before and after a 20-hour endurance exercise program. weeks.” We especially wanted to look at proteins in the blood to analyze the effects of physical exercise, because there is increasing evidence that sport stimulates the secretion of chemicals in the blood, which transmit their effects to organs distant,” says the study’s lead author, Jeremy Robbins.

Similar protein profiles would get the same benefits from exercise

Of all the proteins studied, 147 represent the Maximum Volume of Oxygen – or VO2max – of a person. It is the maximum amount of oxygen an individual’s body consumes during intense physical exercise. It is calculated per unit of time. Another 102 proteins would estimate the change in VO2max in study participants after the 20-week endurance exercise program. “We have identified proteins from bone, muscle, and blood vessels that are closely linked to cardiorespiratory fitness and have never been associated with physical training responses,” said Robert E. Gerszten. . The researchers also noticed that some people with similar VO2max protein profiles experienced the same benefits from exercise. Protein profiles are the study of several proteins selected because of their involvement in the main functions of the organism, here VO2max, and the meanings of their variations.

A protein score predicting the effects of exercise

Using this information, scientists identified a protein score to improve the ability to predict a person’s training, i.e. change in VO2max. “Baseline levels of several proteins predict who will respond to a training protocol,” said Robert E. Gerszten. Thus, with this score, the scientists were able to identify participants whose cardio-respiratory condition was not likely to improve significantly despite their participation in the exercise program.

An essential milestone in the individualization of exercise as therapy

In another community-based study, but outlined in the same article, researchers found that some of these proteins were associated with a significant risk of premature death. This proves the link between cardio-respiratory fitness and long-term health effects. “We now have a detailed inventory of new blood compounds that improve our understanding of the biology of fitness and exercise adaptation, and predict the responses of different people to a given exercise program,” concludes Robert E. Gerszten. Our research (…) is an important step towards the individualization of exercise as therapy. “

Over the next few years, the researchers want to continue their research to refine their analysis of the effects of each of these proteins before and after exercise.



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