Weak magnetic fields interacting with cells promote good muscle health

December 1, 2020

Healthy muscles ensure many aspects of health but for those suffering from injury, disease or frailty because of old age, exercise isn’t always a viable option. Thankfully, scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered a molecule that can promote muscle health when subjected to weak magnetic fields – it can be used to stimulate muscle recovery and aid muscle growth for aging and diseased subjects.

In experiments to study the role of magnetism, magnetic fields weaker than a bar magnet were found to encourage growth in muscle cells, which notably grew more slowly in the absence of any surrounding magnetic fields; their magnetic sensitivity also depended on a protein within, called TRPC1.

The type of weak magnetic fields used in the experiments were only 10 to 15 times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field, but drives biological responses to promote good muscle health, with the protein TRPC1 acting as an antenna.

“About 40% of an average person’s body is muscle,” said NUS Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón. “Our results demonstrate a metabolic interaction between muscle and magnetism which can be exploited to improve human health and longevity, including the use of pulsed magnetic fields to simulate some of the effects of exercise to benefit patients with muscle injury, stroke, and frailty.”

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Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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