Exercise: Study Reveals Healing Power Of Workouts

First Posted: Sep 15, 2015 10:27 PM EDT

A healthy body and good exercise regimen can help you become resistant to other health issues, according to findings published in the 25th edition of Cell. The findings revealed that having strong, tight muscles helped individuals become more resistant to stress and filter a depression-causing toxin out of the brain.

It's not wonder that as our bodies work during exercise, they build up the compound PGC-1α1 that's known to have positive effects on the body, including stimulation of blood vessel production. During the study, researchers genetically altered PGC1α1 in the skeletal systems of lab mice, exposing them to ‘unpredictable stressors.' The mice who had heightened PGC-1α1 that appeared to be ‘immune' to the stressors, showing signs of depression than those who had lowered amounts of PGC-1α1. Researchers also found that kynurenine was neutralized when PGC-1α 1 was produced.

To reproduce the study in humans, the researchers had volunteers perform muscle building exercises three times a week. Then, they conducted thigh muscle biopsies, showing increased kynurenine--neutralizing molecules in the muscles of the volunteers who exercised.

As PGC-1α1 is produced as we build up our muscles, those looking to experience its therapeutic benefits need to steadily vary and intensify their workouts so that their muscles can continue to grow over time.

Findings further revealed that strong muscles may be beneficial not only in people suffering from depression, but also in anyone who has increased levels of kynurenine, including those suffering from cancer or individuals with elevated levels of inflammation.

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