Longevity Briefs: Exercise Training Can Reverse Declining Antioxidant Production

Posted on 22 September 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Damage caused by oxidative stress is an important driver of the ageing process. Exercise can stimulate the production of antioxidant molecules, but this effect is blunted with age.

What did the researchers do: Researchers studied whether exercise training could reverse the decline in activity of Nrf2, a transcription factor that stimulates antioxidant production following exercise. Young (18-28y) and older (≥60y) participants were randomised to 8-week aerobic exercise training or a non-exercise control group. Nrf2 levels and activation were measured.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Moderate exercise training was able to partially reverse the decline in Nrf2 activation, but not to the level seen in the young. Furthermore, the degree of improvement in Nrf2 activation due to exercise training was greater in young than older individuals.

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