A new study has investigated the effects of genetic running capacity and aging on tissue metabolism.
As per the study, adipose tissue may play an important role in healthy aging.
High running capacity is linked to health and longevity. However, whether high genetic running capacity promotes more efficient metabolism with aging is not known.
This study conducted in collaboration between the universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and Jyvaskyla (Finland) investigated the effects of genetic running capacity and aging on tissue metabolism.
Running capacity, also known as aerobic capacity, refers to a person’s ability to use oxygen and is known to decrease with age, thereby affecting the whole body’s metabolism and health.
“We currently lack the information whether high genetic aerobic capacity promotes healthier metabolism in different tissues as we age,” said Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher Ms. Sira Karvinen from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla.
Animal models of high-capacity runners (HCR) and low-capacity runners (LCR) were used to study the question. These rodent lines vary in their aerobic capacity genetically. To explore the tissue metabolites, researchers took serum, muscle, and adipose tissue samples from young and aged animals.
“According to our results, high genetic running capacity was associated with more efficient amino acid metabolism in skeletal muscle. Inefficient amino acid metabolism is linked to increased adiposity and risk of metabolic diseases,” Ms. Karvinen added.
High genetic running capacity and aging interactively affected lipid metabolism in muscle and adipose tissue, possibly contributing to healthier metabolism with aging.
The findings suggest that adipose tissue may play a more significant role in promoting healthy aging than previously thought. According to current research, about half of an individual’s aerobic capacity is inherited genetically, while the other half can be gained via physical activity.
The principal investigator, Prof. Heikki Kainulainen from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla, remarked that “regular exercise promotes health whether you have genetically high or low aerobic capacity. Hence, it is highly recommended to promote one’s metabolism with exercise especially at an older age, when aerobic capacity, as well as other health parameters, decline.”