Call us today: London office:0333 335 5470 / Hull office:08448 849041 | Follow us online:

Does exercise help

Male mice that work out spawn healthier offspring than their lethargic counterparts, according to a new study. Whether the results hold true for humans remains uncertain, but they support the notion that some of the benefits of exercise are somehow passed on to the next generation.

Scientists already know that a parent’s bad exercise or dietary habits can affect their offspring. Mothers who are obese during pregnancy, for example, give birth to children who are more likely to be obese as adults and develop metabolic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. Another study found that male rats that snarfed high-fat chow fathered offspring that didn’t respond normally to glucose, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

To determine whether the opposite is true, molecular exercise physiologist Kristin Stanford of The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus and colleagues fed male mice a fat-rich diet for 3 weeks. One group of animals had access to running wheels, scampering nearly 6 kilometers per night on average, but the rest were couch potatoes. After dissecting some of the rodents to obtain samples of their sperm, the researchers allowed the remaining mice to mate.

Stanford and her colleagues tracked the resulting offspring until they were a year old, about middle age for a mouse. Even though the offspring of exercising and non exercising dads all ate a high-fat diet their entire lives and didn’t get any physical activity, the offspring of healthy fathers seemed to inherit their dads’ metabolism. The progeny of the runners showed a better response to increases in blood glucose and had lower insulin levels—both hallmarks of a sound metabolism—the researchers report today.

Back to Posts
Copyright © S3 Science 2020. All rights reserved.