By Dr. Mercola
Although the underlying genetic code in human muscle doesn’t change, exercise causes important structural and chemical changes to the DNA molecules within those muscles.
This contraction-induced gene activation, which modifies DNA at precise locations, appears to be early events leading to the genetic reprogramming of muscle for strength, and to the structural and metabolic benefits of exercise.
“The DNA changes in question are known as epigenetic modifications and involve the gain or loss of chemical marks on DNA over and above the familiar sequence of As, Gs, Ts, and Cs.
The new study shows that the DNA within skeletal muscle taken from people after a burst of exercise bears fewer chemical marks (specifically methyl groups) than it did before exercise.
Those changes take place in stretches of DNA that are involved in turning “on” genes important for muscles’ adaptation to exercise…
Broadly speaking, the findings offer more evidence that our genomes are much more dynamic than they are often given credit for.”
Exercise Changes Your Biochemistry
Previous studies have identified and measured the biochemical changes that occur during exercise and found alterations in more than 20 different metabolitesiii. Some of these compounds help you burn calories and fat, while others help stabilize your blood sugar, among other things.
What all of this tells us is that exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight creates a positive feedback loop. One of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose and insulin levels, by optimizing insulin receptor sensitivity. This is perhaps the most important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing disease of all kinds, from diabetes, to heart disease, to cancer, and everything in between.