Thursday, October 17, 2013

On your bike, lift some weights!

We’ve known for a while that “methylation” was a very important biochemical process, determining whether the expression of a particular gene was positive or negative. Methyl groups (CH3 = a single carbon surrounded by three hydrogen molecules) attach themselves to a gene and make it harder or easier for that gene to respond to the body’s signals. Diet and supplements have been seen as the primary sources of methyl groups, with good food sources of methylation factors including meat, fish, milk, eggs, soy beans, wheat bran, green vegetables and fruit. Supplements that support methylation include the B-complex, especially vitamins B6 and  B12, methyl folate and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

But now research confirms that exercise can also trigger improved methylation in the body. Researchers affiliated with the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and published recently in PLOS One demonstrated that aerobic and muscle-building exercise changes methylation patterns for the better in both fat and muscle cells. Juleen Zierath, a professor of integrative physiology at the Karolinska Institute and senior author of the study, says that DNA methylation changes are probably "one of the earliest adaptations to exercise" and drive bodily changes that follow.

So get on your bike or lace up your joggers - then get exercising! Since methylation is how those “epigenetic” or trans-generational effects occur, your pre-pregnancy and pregnancy exercise will benefit the next generation too! Need to know how much, how hard and the importance of exercise for flexibility before and during pregnancy, or how to get the next generation started on their own love affair with activity? All you need to know right here ...

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