Monday, 12 March 2012

So, exercise DOES make you use up fat – didn’t we know this before…?

Better than coffee (Image: Jacom Stephens/Getty Images) 
by James Smith

Well, it’s official. Just one hour of exercise alters your genes to allow an increased breakdown of fat. According to New Scientist, Members of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, looked for the addition of a methyl group to genes in muscle cells – during exercise. Hence, to do this they had to biopsy thigh muscles from 8 men who led sedentary lives before and after exercise. Under the microscope (figuratively) they found that several of the genes involved in fat metabolism had been demethylated to which previously a methyl group had attached. Demethylation allows greater ease in protein synthesis.

The group were surprised to see such rapid effects. However, they just needed to see what I do. Less than 3 hours of actual strenuous exercise a week, I eat loads and my body weight barely breaks 60kg. Case in point? They believe that calcium is involved, as they subjected the same biopsies to caffeine (which increases calcium in muscles) and obtained the same demethylation. But sorry, avid tea/coffee drinkers (like me). You would get caffeine intoxication before the same demethylation occurred as those in the muscle workout. So, what did this experiment prove? I believe it was just a bit of a waste of money, finding out that exercise does really help you break down fats. This sort of experiment has already happened. This money would have been better spent on something more worthwhile, such as treatments for cancer, or malaria. What do you think? I would be very interested to hear your views.

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