Everyone wants to know how to lose weight. The answer, as usual, is a combination of diet and exercise. Thanks to new research from Lund University in Sweden, we now know that even small amounts of exercise fundamentally change human DNA in a way that leads to weight loss, and healthier living.
For the first time, the effects of exercise in humans were measured on a cell and DNA-based level. There’s no doubt that exercise leads to the burning of fat and weight loss, but we finally know how and why the body responds to exercise the way it does.
All cells in the body contain sections called methyl groups. While cells themselves cannot change, these methyl groups can and do adjust their shape and size depending on what they are tasked to do. Researchers discovered that as test subjects began to exercise more, their methyl groups began to reshape and reprogram to better burn fat cells.
Researchers are now interested in seeing how different types of methyl groups associate with numerous diseases. “Lazy” methyl groups may show correlation with diseases like obesity and type-2 diabetes. Thus, science could soon be able to predict the chance of certain diseases in humans via a study of their methyl groups. They could then use this evidence to encourage more people to exercise in order to change their methyl group’s shape.
Staying in good shape has always been promoted by doctors as a key to good health, but with this new information, the link between exercise and health is clearer than ever. Yes, working out will burn fat and is how to lose weight. But exercise itself may restructure your cells and DNA so that they themselves are healthier.