Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Exercise and inflammation

The Study
In this investigation, 10 subjects who exercised regularly for up to 5 hours per week added 17.5 miles of running to their weekly fitness routine. The researchers were trying to see the impact of intense exercise on the subject’s ability to absorb dietary iron. By the end of follow-up, the subjects had a significant increase in Interleukin-6 levels, which is a biomarker of inflammation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2018;108:1324-1333.

Take Home Message
Inflammation plays a central role in the progression of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. This study is interesting because it provides further evidence that too much exercise is not great for our body. In this investigation, adding 17.5 miles of running to a moderate fitness routine significantly increased body wide inflammation. Moderate exercise has been shown to decrease inflammation, which is one of the many reasons why it is good for you. However, this study shows us that if you do too much, exercise can actually have the opposite effect.

Don’t go overboard with your cardio. Thirty to forty minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise each day is about as high as I would go. This is the perfect amount to maintain your weight, improve your energy, improve your mood and strengthen your immune system. This amount will also help decrease your risk of today’s most deadly diseases. When it comes to exercise, more is not necessarily better.

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