Researchers discover molecule behind the benefits of exercise

January 7, 2014

While it's clear that exercise can improve health and longevity, the changes that occur in the body to facilitate these benefits are less clear. Now researchers publishing in the January issue of Cell Press journal Cell Metabolism have discovered a molecule that is produced during exercise and contributes to the beneficial effects of exercise on metabolism.

"Our finding bolsters the underlying notion that signals generated in one organ—such as exercising muscle—are released into the circulation and influence other tissues such as and liver," says senior author Dr. Robert Gerszten, of the Cardiology Division and Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Seminal studies by the Spiegelman laboratory, which collaborated on this study, have demonstrated that a protein called PGC-1∝ regulates metabolic genes in muscle and contributes to the response of muscle to exercise, but how the PGC-1∝-mediated response to exercise in muscle conveys signals to other tissues is unclear. Through experiments conducted in cells and mice, Gerszten and his colleagues forced the expression of PGC-1∝ in and then looked for metabolites that were secreted from the cells. They identified β-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA) as one such metabolite and found that it increased fat cells' expression of genes that are involved with burning calories. It also decreased weight gain and helped balance blood sugar levels in mice.

Analyses done in human exercise studies and participants in the Framingham Heart Study revealed that BAIBA levels rise during exercise and are inversely associated with . Specifically, BAIBA levels were inversely correlated with fasting , insulin, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. In addition, there was a trend toward an inverse association with .

The findings suggest that BAIBA may contribute to exercise-induced protection from metabolic diseases. "Manipulating BAIBA—or the enzymes that generate BAIBA—may have therapeutic potential," says Gerszten. "Burning fat is likely to impact multiple aspects of metabolic health related to diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions."

Explore further: Exercise counters the physiological effects of Christmas excess

More information: Cell Metabolism, Roberts et al. "Beta-Aminoisobutyric Acid Induces Browning of White Fat and Hepatic Beta-Oxidation and Is Inversely Correlated with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors". dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2013.12.003

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4 comments

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big_hairy_jimbo
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2014
So is there a pill I can take yet?? Gimme, gimme!!
wealthychef
5 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2014
I suggest dangling a pill on the end of a pole, attaching it to a treadmill, and running towards it for 4 bouts of 3 minutes per day, separated by 30 second rests. Each run should be at maximum intensity.
EnricM
not rated yet Jan 08, 2014
So is there a pill I can take yet?? Gimme, gimme!!


Easy, you can take Iron pills... specially the ones that come in weights up to 10kg or more with a hole in the middle to attach them to an olympic bar.

Extremely effective if you ask me ;)
EnricM
not rated yet Jan 08, 2014
I suggest dangling a pill on the end of a pole, attaching it to a treadmill, and running towards it for 4 bouts of 3 minutes per day, separated by 30 second rests. Each run should be at maximum intensity.


ROFL!!! I we were thinking similar things XD

This is a clear proof of the existence of parapsychological Powahs!!!!

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