According to a new study proposed exercise can alter the DNA of our body. The study conducted by researchers at the Dublin City University, have proved that exercise can change the DNA chemically.
The study was conducted by analyzing two groups of volunteers- where one of the groups completed high-impact workouts, the other were put on a low-impact workout. Cells from the thigh's were examined and the conclusions obtained showed that after hard-work out few methyl groups attach to the DNA (DNA methylation) and a subsequent amount of energy-producing proteins were synthesized. However, in case of low-impact workout the amounts were subsequently low.
Meanwhile, another analysis was carried out by taking biopsies of skeletal muscle before and after three hours of exercise. Exercise leads to changes in DNA methylation; however, the changes were encountered for a short span of time.
DNA methylation is a biochemical process that is important for normal development in higher organisms. It involves the addition of a methyl group. DNA methylation stably alters the gene expression pattern. It suppresses the expression of deleterious elements that have been incorporated into the genome of the individual over time.
However, exercising brings about changes in DNA methylation. The chemical process is responsible of controlling DNA by controlling the genes, and deciding when they have to be turned off and on.
These changes brought about are important for the functioning of Mitochondria (responsible for providing energy to the body), glucose transport as well as fat transport and oxidation. Hence, a regular activity is very necessary for the proper functioning of the body and preventing diseases.
It has also been found that exposure to caffeine, which releases calcium from calcium-storage sites also results in producing energy-regulating proteins.
The study is still being carried out to find out the role of methylation muscle function and development and also whether such modifications can be transferred to the next generation.