Study Shows Exercise Profoundly Impacts Inflammation
By Chris Brown
Everyone knows that exercise is good for them. Whether it is to lower the chance of heart disease and diabetes from reduced body fat to the countless brain benefits of cardiovascular exercise, the positive impacts of regular gym exertion are profound. Now, researchers have found yet another reason to hit the gym: reduced inflammation. Exercise has been shown to reduce the body-wide inflammation that is behind many health problems.
Exercise Lowers Inflammation Via the Gut
Inflammation is the baseline cause behind many body-wide diseases and cognitive difficulties. A 2021 study conducted out of the University of Nottingham in the U.K. found a connection between exercise, specifically strength training, and reduced inflammation. The researchers discovered that the anti-inflammatory effects they witnessed resulted from microbe biome changes in the digestive tract. They found that strength training increased the body's levels of natural endocannabinoids which, in turn, reduced the amount of inflammatory substances, called cytokines, through exercise's changes upon the gut's microbes. Cytokines are beneficial to the body when stimulated for immune response. However, overproduction of cytokines causes inflammation and leads to inflammatory diseases. Reducing over-saturation of cytokines, instantly lowers the body's inflammation level. And cytokine levels are, in large part, determined by the makeup of your gut's biome.
What This Means for Sufferers of Inflammatory Diseases
Not only does reduced inflammation mean a more optimized body network, but it can also relieve the symptoms of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis. In the University of Nottingham study, exercise reduced arthritic sufferers' inflammatory cytokine levels, which subjectively reduced their arthritic pain. The arthritic participants underwent 15 minutes of strength training daily for six weeks. Following the regiment, they experienced positive effects similar to those found with anti-inflammatory dietary changes, without any modification to their food intake. This means that the gut bacteria responsible for reducing inflammation increased throughout the study by exercise alone. This is a profound result as it is commonly thought that genetics and food consumption primarily impact the makeup of one's digestive bacteria. This study indicates that treatment may be possible from a third route: one's physical lifestyle and strength.
Decreasing inflammation is yet another reason to get to the gym. And, if joint pain is keeping you from strength training, chiropractic manipulation may be able to help. Chiropractors at places like The Joint Chiropractic can optimize your joints movements and your brain-body communication to make you mobile again and prevent future injuries.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Logan, Utah.