Exercising has been shown to give elderly mice the muscles of much younger mice.
In a study on mice, it was found that exercising later in life can help keep your muscles young and strong.
It has been shown that exercising makes old mice look like they're much younger than they are.
Exercising not only makes you feel younger, but it can also help you stay younger as well. A study on mice says that even if you're old, you can still get your muscles in shape by working out. It also emphasizes how important it is to stay active, but the study could also help us learn some of the secrets of rejuvenation.
When it comes to our health, even though some diseases are passed down in our families, we can still make healthy choices about how we eat and exercise to improve our overall health. Still, whatever the reason, some of these conditions need some genes to be turned on for them to happen. I don't know.
A new study has helped us get closer to the answer by mapping the genetic changes that happen in the muscle cells of old mice when they start exercising.
Genes can be turned on and off.
DNA, the "blueprint" for our bodies, is the focus of the study. DNA is made up of four bases called cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine. A methyl molecule made up of one carbon and three hydrogen atoms is used to help manage these huge helixes. These atoms connect to one of the four bases (cytosine) to form what's called a CpG site.
When this happens, the CpG is methylated, and proteins are made at the site to control something in the body, no matter what that something is. In contrast, when you lose that methyl group, the region is unmethylated, which turns off that gene. If you want to stop or start the expression of certain genes, a process called DNA methylation can help or hurt. For example, it can help or hurt the expression of genes that cause wrinkles in old age. This process happens billions of times a second in every cell in the body, and we're only just beginning to understand it.
DNA methylation is one of the many mechanisms of epigenetics, where changes in DNA that are inborn or learned about don't change the DNA itself. This means that people can potentially reverse things like fat deposits through diet and exercise. More and more studies are coming to the conclusion that this is a process that most organisms on Earth use to stay healthy and live longer.
Using lifestyle changes like exercise, the current study tries to make this theory even more accurate by measuring the animal's "epigenetic clock" to make sure it's accurate. This clock is based on methylation levels in the blood, which show exposures and disease risks regardless of chronological age. This gives an early-warning system and a true representation of a period of time.
University of Arkansas Assistant Professor Kevin Murach: DNA methylation changes in a person's life tend to be more or less predictable. This is because the changes happen over time. You can look at someone's DNA from a piece of tissue and, with a fair amount of accuracy, figure out their age.
Use exercise to make the clock go backwards.
When the mice reached 22 months old, they were given access to a weighted exercise wheel so that they could build up muscle. They didn't need to be pushed to run on the wheel. Older mice ran six to eight kilometers a day, mostly in spurts, and younger mice ran up to 10 or 12 kilometers.
After two months of running on a weighted wheel, the old mice looked like they were eight weeks younger than mice of the same age who were sedentary.
The team also used the epigenetic clock to find many genes that play a role in the formation and function of muscles, as well as those that are affected by exercise. Blood tests showed that the genes that are usually over methylated (hypermethylated) in old age had normal levels of methylation in the active-aged mice. This was not the case for the sedentary mice.
If the rbm10 gene is hypermethylated in old age, it stops the production of proteins that help motor neuron survival, muscle weight and function, as well as the growth of striated muscle. Here, it was found to be less methylated in older mice who exercised, which made it better at what it did. Normal methylation levels also returned to the Timm8a1 gene, which kept mitochondrial function and oxidant defense at a good level even though nearby sites had bad epigenetic changes.
More work needs to be done to use DNA methylation.
Murach says that when a lifespan is measured in months, like with this mouse strain, an extra eight weeks, or about 10% of that lifespan, is a big deal. This emphasizes the importance of exercise in later life.
He says that even though the link between methylation and aging is clear, the link between methylation and muscle function is not. Even though there are strong results, Murach will not say for sure that exercise causes better muscle health because of the reversal of methylation. "That's not what the study was meant to do," he said. However, he plans to do more research to see if "changes in methylation" affect how muscles work.
Asked if this was true, "What would happen if this was true?" Are there any physical changes that happen because of changes to these very specific places of methylation? Whether or not it is the cause of old age. Is it just something that happens with a lot of other things that happen during the aging process? So we don't know that.
He says that once the medical community understands how DNA methylation changes in muscle, they could come up with epigenetic markers that can be changed to improve muscle health in the elderly.
Read the full study here....https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acel.13527