How Does Exercise Improve Your Heart?

Probably like a lot of people, I presumed that the main way that exercise improved cardiovascular outcomes was due to beneficial effects on weight, serum lipid levels, and adiposity. However, recent research (Liu X et al. Cell Metab 2015; 21: 584-95) has shown a critical role for microRNA miR-222.  This research is summarized by Hill JA (“Braking Bad Hypertrophy” NEJM 2015; 372: 2160-62).

Key points:

  • “Liu et al provide compelling evidence that miR-222 is up-regulated by exercise and serves to brake pathologic cardiac remodeling and release the heart (“braking the brake”) to grow in a beneficial way”
  • Thus, “exercise triggers a robust and adaptive growth response in the myocardium.”
  • “Current evidence suggests that the heart, in response to stress (eg. exercise) can help it retrace its steps and move toward “good” heart growth.”

Bottomline: “Exercise is a powerful medicine with few noorthopedic side effects.”

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.


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