Study Finds Even Moderate Exercise has Beneficial Impact

Results from a study conducted at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conclude that a single session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system to produce an anti-inflammatory response. The authors say that the findings may point to new approaches to the management of chronic conditions including fibromyalgia, celiac disease, and arthritis. Senior author Suzi Hong, PhD, commented “The anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise have been known to researchers, but finding out how that process happens is the key to safely maximizing those benefits.” The findings are published online in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

In the study, 47 participants walked on a treadmill for 20 minutes, with the intensity level modified to each individual’s fitness level. Blood samples were collected and analyzed before and after the exercise session. The analysis recorded a 5% average decrease, post-session, in the number of immune cells producing TNF, a regulator of local and systemic inflammation. Dr. Hong observed “Knowing what sets regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory proteins in motion may contribute to developing new therapies for the overwhelming number of individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions.” Read a news story about the findings here. The article abstract may be read here.

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