Study proves that exercise benefits metabolism

February 18, 2019

The Nature Metabolism journal has published a paper on the molecular effects of exercise on metabolism; particularly that of a protein called transforming growth factor beta-2 (TGF-beta-2).

TGF-beta-2 is composed of a large group of signaling proteins – adipokines – originating in fat cells. The adipokines regulate numerous metabolic processes in fat tissue, and has a role in the immune system.But, TGF-beta-2 is unlike most other adipokines, which increase with obesity and can harm health and metabolism.

A study using normal mice has showed that exercise stimulates the release TGF-beta-2 by fat cells, which improved glucose tolerance and fatty acid metabolism. Treating of sedentary mice with TGF-beta-2 further reverses the detrimental effects of high-fat feeding.

Study author Laurie J. Goodyear, Ph.D., who is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, has remarked on these dramatic effects. Professor Goodyear and her colleagues have seen that levels of TGF-beta-2 in fat cells and in the blood went up after exercise, both in male humans and in mice. In addition, during exercise, muscles release lactic acid, which then travels to fat tissue and stimulates fat cells to secrete TGF-beta-2.

The international researchers also administered TGF-beta-2 to some mice that had become obese and some others that had developed type-2 diabetes. The protein had similar effects to that of exercise – reversing the negative effects of a high-fat diet that would otherwise cause a sluggish metabolism.

Professor Goodyear has said that the study is the first to demonstrate that an exercise-induced protein can benefit metabolism, and can be used later in treating high blood sugar and type-2 diabetes. However, clinical treatments are not yet available.

Category: Education, Features

Comments are closed.