New twin study reveals exercise induces beneficial epigenetic changes


eMediNexus    08 December 2022

A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports showed that identical twin pairs with more physically active siblings showed fewer symptoms of metabolic disease as indicated by waist size and body mass index.


The researchers collected cheek swabs from 70 sets of identical twins who also participated in an exercise study. They measured the individuals′ waistlines and body mass indices and their physical activity using fitness trackers. Additionally, the twins responded to survey questions regarding their areas and way of life.


The analysis of the cells in the discordant twins′ cheek swabs by Skinner′s lab revealed epigenetic differences too. When compared to the other twin in the discordant pair, the one engaged in more than 150 minutes of physical activity each week had epigenetic changes in DNA methylation regions, which were associated with a lower body mass index and smaller waist circumference. Additionally, these regions were found to be related to more than fifty genes that have been previously identified as being unique to strenuous exercise and metabolic risk factors.


The results offer a biological explanation for the association between physical exercise and metabolic disorders. The twins with greater levels of physical activity exhibited epigenetic markers associated with decreased metabolic syndrome, a condition that can result in heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.


(Source: https://theprint.in/health/exercise-linked-to-beneficial-epigenetic-changes-in-new-twin-study/1251957/)

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