Regular exercise has anti-aging properties
Long-term physical activity can protect individuals against the aging process by stabilizing telomeres at the cellular level, a new study finds.
Telomeres, short sections of DNA at the end of the chromosomes, shorten each time the cell divides, making cells more susceptible to death. These caps which play a critical role in stabilizing DNA are believed to shorten with age.
According to the study published in Circulation, telomeres shorten less quickly in the key immune cells of professional athletes.
Regular physical exercise activates the function of an enzyme known as telomerase — which helps stabilize telomeres, lowering the telomere shortening in leukocytes.
The strongest effect was reported among professional athletes who are used to endurance training.
‘Our data improves the molecular understanding of the protective effects of exercise and underlines the potency of physical training in reducing the impact of age-related disease,’ concluded lead researcher Ulrich Laufs.
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