Coffee and Short Exercise Program Alters DNA

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(Best Syndication News) Scientists say that a small amount of exercise by people who are normally sedentary can change their DNA “immediately.” Caffeine could change the structure of the DNA of muscles in a similar way.

Juleen Zierath of Karolinska Institutet in Sweden says that our muscles are really “plastic.” Muscles adapt to what we do. While the underlying genetic code of the muscle isn’t changed, the molecular structure of the DNA is chemically and structurally altered, according to Zierath.

“If you don't use it, you lose it, and this is one of the mechanisms that allows that to happen," Zierath explained. The exercise appears to genetically reprogram the muscle tissue for strength.

They call these changes “epigenetic modifications,” which involve the gain and loss of chemical marks on DNA over and above the familiar sequence of As, Gs, Ts, and Cs. A quick burst of exercise will bear fewer methyl group marks immediately. Genes for exercise will be turned on during the exercise regimen.

Caffeine will work in a similar way. When the muscles contract or are exposed to caffeine, they lose methyl groups. Athletes who drink a cup of coffee before they exercise may be on to something, according to Zierath.

Our individual genomes may be more dynamic than once thought. The epigenetic modification process can be easy to trigger with either caffeine or exercise.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter
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