Pulse 84: Yes, Exercise Is Good for Your Health and Longevity

22 October 2018
Giulio Prisco

Exercise Walking for Health and Longevity

Scientists at Cleveland Clinic have confirmed that cardiorespiratory fitness resulting from exercise extends healthy life (see below). According to Cleveland Clinic researcher Wael Jaber, in addition to finding an increased benefit for each level of fitness reached, the scientists found that there was no ceiling when it came to how fit a person could be, meaning, they did not find a point where too much cardiac fitness had a negative impact on longevity.

“The more time you are able to spend on a treadmill stress test is similar to the effect that you get from reducing risk factors,” concluded Jaber. “If you treat somebody for hypertension for example, or high cholesterol, you’d expect a certain reduction in mortality. This research shows that going from being sedentary to starting an exercise program - and increasing aerobic fitness - translates into a benefit that is similar to that seen from taking medications for high blood pressure, for high cholesterol, or not smoking.”

Of course you already knew that exercise is good for your health and longevity, but it’s always good when scientific research confirms common sense. And because common sense advice needs to be repeated over and over otherwise it will be ignored, this news has been covered by many top press outlets. A CNN headline reads: “Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals.”

Scientific study confirms that exercise extends healthy life. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic have found that better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life. The scientists retrospectively studied 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing at Cleveland Clinic. A study published in JAMA Network Open shows that increased cardiorespiratory fitness was directly associated with reduced long-term mortality.

New therapy for oxygen-starved hearts. Scientists at UC San Francisco have developed a new oxygen-delivery therapy that could have an important impact on emergency medicine. A study published in PLOS Biology shows that the new therapy restored the function of oxygen-starved heart tissue in lab animals. Unlike its experimental predecessors, the new drug does not appear to cause systemic side effects or overcorrect with excessive blood oxygenation, which can itself be toxic. Instead, the new drug delivers its precious oxygen cargo only to the tissues that need it most.

Toward wearable artificial kidneys. Researchers at Drexel University and collaborating labs have developed a new urea sorbent that could accelerate progress toward the development of a lightweight, wearable artificial kidney with the potential to make dialysis more convenient, comfortable and effective. As described in a research paper published in ACS Nano, the researchers used an emerging nanomaterial called MXene, which can capture urea molecules between its nanometer-thin layers. The researchers conclude that MXene could help turn the concept of a comfortably wearable artificial kidney into a reality.

Engineered enzyme eliminates nicotine addiction in lab rats. Scientists at Scripps Research Institute have successfully tested a potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents. A study published in Science Advances documents how the scientists gave nicotine-dependent rats an engineered enzyme, NicA2-J1, which breaks down nicotine in the bloodstream before it can reach the brain. Treatment quickly reduced the animals' motivation to take nicotine, reversed their signs of nicotine dependence, and kept them from relapsing when they were given access to nicotine again. The Scripps Research team now hopes to take NicA2-J1 into clinical trials on humans.

Neural networks automatically monitor single molecules in cells. Researchers at Osaka University and RIKEN have developed a system that can automatically image single molecules within living cells. This system employs learning via neural networks to focus appropriately on samples, search automatically for cells, image fluorescently labeled single molecules, and track their movements. With this system, described in a research paper published in Nature Communications, the team achieved the automated determination of pharmacological parameters and quantitative characterization of the effects of ligands and inhibitors on a target, which has potentially profound implications for biological and medical sciences.

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