26 March 2013

Physical education does not save muscles from aging

Researchers at Loughborough University, UK, working under the guidance of Professor Jamie Timmons, have received evidence that, contrary to widespread opinion, physical activity does not slow down the aging process of muscle tissue.

One of the main problems of aging is atrophy of muscle tissue. The authors found that the reaction of the human body to physical activity varies very widely and that it can be predicted based on the initial state of the genes. According to Professor Timmons, physical exercises have a "good functional effect" on some people, whereas about 25% of muscles simply do not grow.

As part of the study, by measuring variations in the amount of protein products synthesized in cells of various genes, scientists have compiled a reproducible molecular profile or chemical "fingerprints" for aging human muscle tissue. They compared the results of the analysis with numerous existing data concerning the effects of physical training in order to find out how different chemical profiles react to endurance training. The aim of this was to identify the molecular processes mainly associated with aging, and not with the influence of the environment or lifestyle.

As a result, unique genetic mechanisms associated with the growth and aging of human muscles were identified. Moreover, based on the data obtained, the authors concluded that the molecular processes associated with the aging of muscle tissue have nothing to do with the processes regulated directly by physical activity. In other words, the effect of age on muscles is in no way interrelated with the effect of physical exertion.

A good example is one of the most important findings – the "active rapamycin profile", which is directly interrelated with the so-called mTOR-mediated signaling mechanism. It turned out that this profile is determined by genes that are practically inactive in people who are unable to build muscle mass. (The drawing from the Loughborough University website shows a collage by Veronique Duboc and Therry Lepage, Observatoire Oceanologique de Villefrance-sur-Mer.)

Analysis of the effect of a 20-week period of endurance training on a group of volunteers showed that the greatest amount of muscle mass was increased by people who had an mTOR-mediated signaling mechanism in an inactive state during the training period.

For people whose genes did not suppress the activity of the mTOR-mediated signaling mechanism, this meant that, regardless of the severity of training, they could not stop the aging process of their muscle tissue.

Timmons states that his group intends to continue working, the ultimate goal of which is to create a drug that slows down the rate of muscle aging and can help people who are unable to build muscle mass through regular workouts.

Article by Bethan E. Phillips et al. Molecular Networks of Human Muscle Adaptation to Exercise and Age is published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru according to Medical News Today:
Physical Activity Does Not Slow Muscle Aging.


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