How to Win the Battle Against Aging


Every day, it seems, there’s a new study espousing the benefits of exercise. Exercise helps you lose weight. Exercise makes you smarter. Exercise cures cancer. What’s next? Exercise makes you immortal?

Well, not quite. But a new study has found that exercise actually reverses the aging process at the cellular level.

The study, published in an online journal called PLoS One, studied 25 people over 65 for six months. A research team led by Dr Simon Melov from McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ontario  took biopsies of their thigh muscles. Then they put the group on a strength-training regimen that included two hour-long sessions in the gym per week. At the end of the six months, they were biopsied again.

The muscle cells were compared to the cells of a control group of young people (average age 22). At the beginning of the study, the older people’s cells were significantly different genetically from the younger people’s. But at the end of six months, a third of the genes within the cells had undergone significant changes. The cells that changed were involved in the functioning of mitochondria, which process nutrients into energy. And sure enough, study participants reported having more energy.

“The genetic fingerprint [of the elderly participants] was reversed to that of younger people — not entirely, but enough to say that their genetic profile was more like that of young people than old people,” said Simon Melov, director of genomics at the Buck Institute in Novato, Calif.

We’ve heard it before, but we’ll let Mr. Melov say it again.

“It’s never too late to start exercising.”

This study may be the most significant news for an aging population in the history. Although we cannot stop chronological aging, we can in fact reverse the cell change that comes with age. Take the time to go to the gym and start to turn back the clock.

“Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle.”

Simon Melov, Mark A. Tarnopolsky, Kenneth Beckman, Krysta Felkey, and Alan Hubbard.

PLoS ONE 2(5): e465. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000465

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6 Responses to “How to Win the Battle Against Aging”

  1. I’m scratching my head tryng to figure out what I was listening to recently that mentioned this study.

    One of my responses to the often heard “There are so many diet and exercise programs out there that it’s confusing” is, yes, but if you identify the leaders in the field or the small number of people who are ahead of the curve, you’ll realize they’re saying the same thing.

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    So true. Exercise may be the best medicine you can take next to food.

  3. Peter Roberts Says:

    Brilliant information just what I needed as I’m writing apiece on aging and how insulin in excessive levels “hyperinsulinaemia” in the blood causes cell damage and pre-aging. I think a lot of people should seriously consider dropping processed sugar, which is hidden in so many foods and products. The metabolic syndrome has been ignored of late as we see vast amounts of people becoming obese, it’s time to reclaim our lives and live longer. All we need to do is exercise with weights, interval train, take essential oils with DHA, take a good multi vitamin and Ditch Sugar for Agave or Stevia. It’s a real easy way to extend or lives, but the problem is it’s a whole lot easier to do nothing!

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    True. However, it never go the recognition it should. Many of these recent posts ( Only One Body, etc.) were actually written a few years ago for http://www.coreperformance.com.

  5. I’m not a scienetist nor do I have any formal eduaction in the fields of medicine, but it would seem to me that as our population gets both older and even more unhealthy, a result of fast food eating habits and the like, that exercise will be the cure for a lot more in the future.
    What I gather from this, and many other articles and studies, is that the more we deviate from what humans are supposed to do (run, chase, gather, hunt, be stimulated from the environment, etc.) the more favourbale exercise will be looked upon. That is, we will find that through simple exercise health can be restored to normal levels.

  6. Study is 3 years old, so not exactly new.

    There’s a small article on it here:

    http://longevity.stanford.edu/mybody/mobility/physicalactivity/MelovExercise

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