Because each of us responds to exercise differently

Because each of us responds to exercise differently
Because each of us responds to exercise differently

Physical activity does not have the same effect on everyone. A group from Boston has identified over 200 proteins that allow us to predict if and how exercise will affect the cardiovascular well-being of the individual

(photo: Daniel Reche via Pixabay)

We are all different and so is thephysical exercise it modifies and shapes our body differently and produces different effects in each of us. For example, someone prefers the corsa, someone else aerobic gymnastics, others the I swim. And again, from the same physical activity, such as running, for some it will improve more resistance and for others the reduction of sugars in the blood. Today a study conducted by the institute of cardiovascular medicine of the Beth Israel Deaconess medical center in Boston investigates and explains the reasons for some of these differences with particular attention to cardiovascular health. In this sector the genetics plays a role: the authors identify and study further 200 proteins linked to more or less marked changes in cardiovascular well-being. The results are published on Nature Metabolism.

Protein is involved

Researchers got involved 650 sedentary people, who took part in sessions of aerobic workout to improve endurance, or the ability to sustain more or less intense physical activity over time without decreasing performance. At the beginning, before the sports session, the scientists measured the blood levels of the volunteers of about 5 thousand proteins and identified them 147 related to cardiovascular well-being. In particular these proteins are associated with the maximum aerobic power O VO2max, which is the maximum volume of oxygen consumed per minute during intense physical activity. This parameter is also connected to the fitness, to training and endurance, so it clearly changes if from sedentary we become active. However, these proteins could provide clues from the start, according to the authors, about ours predisposition to improvement and resistance. Then there are 102 other proteins that indicate a change and improvement in VO2max after training.

Studying proteins to understand the best exercise

These proteins had never been studied in relation to physical activity, as the author explains Robert E. Gerszten. According to the authors, measuring the levels of these components before and after the session allows to obtain useful information, before starting the training, on the possible success of the same, or rather on how much the physical parameters associated with cardiovascular health can change and improve. “Add to the basic clinical features a blood protein-related score, they write in the text of the publication, “ha improved predictive accuracy of clinically significant improvements in VO2max”. For example, some people may not report the expected cardiovascular benefits even by following a standard fitness program created to achieve a certain result.

Towards personalized fitness

Focusing on these differences can be important for several reasons. A separate survey carried out by the group, for example, shows that some of these proteins are linked to a greater risk of death early, therefore deepening the topic could also be important in the clinical setting. Furthermore, the research opens the door to future studies on how to personalize physical exercise based on individual characteristics, towards one custom sport. We are only at the beginning and the sample of volunteers is still small but this kind of survey could be useful in the future. Remembering that in Italy almost 4 out of 10 people are sedentary and that overweight and obesity affect one in two adults and one in five children.

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