Josh reveals new science about exercise: how high-intensity interval training changes gene expression patterns and DNA methylation patterns, and influences telomere dynamics as well. Josh also reveals some shocking facts about how sedentary activity causes epigenetic changes within our genes.
About Josh Denem, PhD
Josh is an ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist at the University of Ballarat. His research involves quantifying telomere dynamics, DNA methylation and gene expression changes induced after acute and chronic exercise training.
— Mike Mutzel MSc (@MikeMutzel) January 25, 2015
Research Gate: www.researchgate.net/profile/Joshua_Denham
What is the future of epigenetic therapies?
We’ll likely have epigenetic biomarkers and oral epigenetic medicines, but not for some time yet because we have over 150 different epigenomes.
DNA is transcribed into RNA, which is translated into protein.
Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies.
Our DNA sequence is made up of 3 billion nucleotides (DNA alphabet).
These nucleotides make 21,000 genes.
Our genome is really inert; it hardly changes.
Epigenetics is the change in gene activity without a change in gene sequence.
Our epigenome is like a radio dial; genes can be turned up or down.
Our entire DNA is able to fit inside a small cell because the DNA is wrapped around histones inside cells.
How Does Exercise Change Epigenetics?
A lot of the changes are in DNA methylation changes throughout the genome and are related to cancer.
Other pathways were methylated linked to cardiovascular disease (specifically microRNA).
Physical activity is correlated with a lower whole-genome methylation level.
Acute exercise leads to methylation changes inside skeletal muscle.
Higher-intensity interval training produces the greatest reduction in DNA methylation.
What is microRNA? The bind to RNA (the product of DNA) to regulate protein abundance
They mainly negatively regulate translation (to slow down the production of proteins).
Exercise improves learning by changing DNA and increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Exercise also changes microRNA in the heart, which changes blood pressure
Bed rest is linked with semi-permanent changes in gene expression.
When we exercise, we’re influencing our offspring’s epigenetics, not just our own genes.
Sperm DNA is altered by plastics, toxins, and pesticides, which impact offspring’s characteristics.
Exercise: putting action into our epigenome