A group of Brazilian scientists has found out that aerobic exercise stimulates the production and release of microRNAs into the bloodstream. These components can provide more energy for the muscles.
Previous studies have suggested that the production of microRNAs, which are signaling molecules, can be affected by obesity and aging. This may increase the risk of metabolic illnesses, such as dyslipidemia and diabetes.
The finding indicates that exercise can help with the production of microRNAs, thus preventing these diseases.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
In the research, scientists in Sao Paulo, Brazil, cooperated with researchers at Harvard University and the University of Copenhagen.
They put mice for 1 hour each day in 8 weeks on a treadmill. Once these animals became fitter, they increased the treadmill’s slope and speed.
At the end of the experiments, scientists noticed a noticeable increase in the release of DICER, a protein in the mice’s fat cells. This is associated with drops in visceral fat and body weight.
By allowing for more microRNAs to be produced, DICER helps the body generate more energy for muscles.
When the experiment was repeated with genetically modified mice that could not produce DICER in fat cells, the training program did not provide many benefits.
In other words, their fat cells did not provide muscles with sufficient energy during intense exercise. This is because more glucose is consumed without DICER. This may result in low levels of blood sugar or hypoglycemia, which eventually lowers the performance of athletes.
When the same experiment was conducted on human participants, scientists noticed a 5-time increase in the amount of DICER after 6 weeks in high-intensity interval training.
Workout improved levels of DICER in these individuals, both young and old. Nevertheless, the exact amount varied, which would explain why the effects of exercises are not the same for everyone.
In addition, researchers also injected blood serum, extracted from a mouse undergone exercises, into one that had not. The main purpose was to verify that signaling molecules could help with the communication of muscle and fat.
They noticed that the infusion boosted the release of DICER in the recipient mouse. This indicates that trained people have one or more molecules that can have direct effects on metabolic improvement.
Scientists concluded that this metabolic flexibility plays an important role in performance improvement and good health.