Science-- there's something for everyone

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another reason to exercise

According to a study by researchers at McMaster University, exercise directs stem cells in marrow to become bone rather than fat.  Besides decreasing the amount of fat within the bone marrow cavities, this leads to improved blood production and circulation.

The scientists compared mice that ran on treadmills three times a week, less than an hour each time, with mice that were completely sedentary.  Even though the exercising mice were putting in less than three hours a week at the gym, their bone marrow cavities had less fat than those of their sedentary cohorts.  The authors suggest that the exercise was influencing stem cells to become bone cells rather than fat cells.  This leads to a cascade of effects, including improved blood circulation.  In contrast, the bone marrow of sedentary creatures slowly fills with fat cells, which impede blood production and circulation.

According to Gianni Parise:

Exercise has the ability to impact stem cell biology. It has the ability to influence how they differentiate.

Original artwork by Kayla Orlinsky.