Physical activity does not have the same effect on everyone


  • The beneficial effects of exercise vary from person to person.
  • This difference would come from the different proteins in the blood.
  • The researchers managed to identify proteins associated with certain virtues of exercise, particularly cardiorespiratory.

Regardless of age, doctors recommend regular physical activity. Sport is recognized for its health benefits, but these effects are not the same from one individual to another. A study published in the magazine Nature Metabolism shows the correlation between fitness and general health, as well as the reasons for differences in the benefits of exercise.

Study proteins in the blood to understand the effects of sport

“Although the overall groups benefited from exercise, the difference in responses between two people doing the same physical activity is really striking,” according to Robert E. Gerszten, one of the study’s authors. For example, some people will increase their endurance, while others will see an improvement in their “blood sugar” blood sugar levels According to Robert E. Gerszten, until now it was not possible to predict which patients were most likely to benefit sports for your cardiorespiratory health. To find out, the team studied 5,000 proteins in 650 sedentary adults before and after a 20-hour resistance exercise program. weeks”. We wanted to look especially at proteins in the blood to analyze the effects of physical exercise, because there is increasing evidence that sport stimulates the secretion of chemicals in the blood, which transmit their effects to distant organs,” says the lead author of the study, Jeremy Robbins.

Similar protein profiles would get the same benefits from exercise

Of all the proteins studied, 147 represent the Maximum Volume of Oxygen -or VO2max- of a person. It is the maximum amount of oxygen consumed by an individual’s body during intense physical exercise. It is calculated per unit of time. Another 102 proteins would estimate the change in VO2max in study participants after the 20-week resistance exercise program. “We have identified proteins from bone, muscle, and blood vessels that are closely related to cardiorespiratory fitness and have never been associated with responses to physical training,” said Robert E. Gerszten. . The researchers also noted that some people with similar VO2max protein profiles experienced the same benefits from exercise. Protein profiles are the study of several proteins selected for their involvement in the main functions of the organism, here VO2max, and the meanings of their variations.

A protein score that predicts the effects of exercise

With this information, the scientists identified a protein score to improve the ability to predict a person’s training, that is, the change in VO2max. “Baseline levels of various proteins predict who will respond to a training protocol,” said Robert E. Gerszten. Therefore, with this score, the scientists were able to identify participants whose cardiorespiratory fitness was not likely to improve significantly despite their participation in the exercise program.

A fundamental milestone in the individualization of exercise as therapy

In another community study, but described in the same article, the researchers found that some of these proteins were associated with a significant risk of premature death. This demonstrates the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and long-term health effects. “We now have a detailed inventory of new blood compounds that improve our understanding of the biology of fitness and exercise adaptation, and predict different people’s responses to a given exercise program,” concludes Robert E. Gerszten. Our research (…) is an important step towards the individualization of exercise as therapy. “

Over the next few years, the researchers want to continue their research to refine their analysis of the effects of each of these proteins before and after exercise.

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