New research has revealed a link between the aging process and Irisin, a hormone released from the muscle after exercise. This hormone has also been shown to reprogram the body’s fat cells to burn energy instead of storing it. Previous studies reveal that Irisin has the potential to prevent obesity and diabetes by increasing metabolic rate.
The research team led by Dr. James Brown have proven a significant link exists between Irisin levels in the blood and a biological marker of aging called telomere length. Telomeres are small regions found at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells within the body replicate. Short telomere length has been linked to many age-related diseases including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Using a population of healthy, non-obese individuals, the team has shown those individuals who had higher levels of Irisin were found to have longer telomeres. The finding provides a potential molecular link between keeping active and healthy ageing with those having higher Irisin levels more ‘biological young’ than those with lower levels of the hormone.
Dr. James Brown from Aston’s Research Center for Healthy Ageing, said: “Exercise is known to have wide ranging benefits, from cardiovascular protection to weight loss. Recent research has suggested that exercise can protect people from both physical and mental decline with aging. Our latest findings now provide a potential molecular link between keeping active and a healthy ageing process.”
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