Reduced? Yes! Levels of Inflammation Markers in the Knee After Running

New research conducted by exercise science professors from Brigham Young University suggests that conventional wisdom concerning the hazards of long-distance running may be false. Specifically, the study found that pro-inflammatory molecules decrease in concentration in the knee joint fluid after running, with the implication that the exercise may actually reduce joint inflammation.  Further, the team concludes that running may forestall the onset of osteoarthritis and similar joint degenerative diseases. Study coauthor Matt Seeley, PhD, associate professor of exercise science at BYU, summarized: “It flies in the face of intuition. This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.” The conclusions were published in European Journal of Applied Physiology.

The BYU team measured inflammation markers in the extracted synovial fluid of healthy men and women aged 18-35 before and after 30 minutes of running. Levels of the specific markers, cytokines GM-CSF and IL-15 were found to decrease following the exercise session. Lead author Robert Hyldahl, PhD, also assistant professor of exercise science, said, “…for young, healthy individuals, exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health.” These benefits include the potential for delaying the onset of osteoporosis, he continued.

Read more about the study findings here.

The journal abstract may be read here.

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