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Narrowing the benefits of exercise down to a molecule

Exercise and Science
Exercise and Science
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Yes, it’s getting that precise. Researchers have long known the benefits of exercise, but now they have narrowed things down to a single molecule that is produced during exercise and affects metabolism.

The research was published in the January edition of Cell Metabolism identifying B-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA) as a metabolite that increased the expression of genes for fat cells involved with burning calories. BAIBA levels, apparently rise during exercise and are inversely correlated with fasting blood sugar levels, insulin, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.

"Our finding bolsters the underlying notion that signals generated in one organ—such as exercising muscle—are released into the circulation and influence other tissues such as fat cells and liver," according to senior author Dr. Robert Gerszten, of the Cardiology Division and Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.