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How Exercise Can Change the Methylation pattern of your DNA

You are not just your DNA (your genome) as you have some control over the level of gene expression. Get moving - change your gene expression - change your life.

Using the biopsied samples, researchers compared the activity in a series of muscle-related genes before and after exercise. More genes were turned on in the cells taken after the exercise and the participants’ DNA showed less methylation, a molecular process in which chemicals called methyl groups settle on the DNA and limit the cell’s ability to access, or switch on, certain genes. By controlling how much methylation goes on in certain cells at specific times, the body regulates which genes in the DNA are activated — that’s what differentiates the development of an an eye cell, for example, from that of a liver cell.
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17 comments
 
I just noticed that you posted a link to a different article on the same topic!
 
+Jeff Sayre sorry if I did. Maybe I was fooled by the Time magazine version. I will try to be more careful. Thanks.
 
+Jeff Sayre I might have misunderstood your comment, as I see that you also posted this story - different link. I think it is a good message and hopefully will encourage people to exercise.
 
I was not complaining but complimenting you! When it comes to spreading science stories and educating people about science, the more the merrier!
 
+Jeff Sayre I might have misunderstood your comment. As I see you also posted about this subject with a different link. I think it is a good message, and hopefully will help people decide to exercise more.
 
+Ward Plunet Don't believe that it will change my DNA by exercising
I do exercise daily but the structure of DNA is through heredity and not supposed to be capable of change other than in off spring
 
You are right +William Johnston the title is misleading - it changes the methylation status - and hence potentially gene expression - but not the actual DNA.
 
+Pascal Wallisch I lazily copied the title from the times piece, now have edited it (but should have been done a better job before the post got shared).
 
From an alternate article, "The underlying genetic code in human muscle isn't changed with exercise, but the DNA molecules within those muscles are chemically and structurally altered in very important ways." (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306131254.htm)

DNA is more than just base pairs. DNA can have genetic alterations (i.e., mutations) or epigenetic alterations. As this study indicates, the methylation is altered due to exercise. Thus it is technically accurate to claim that the DNA is changed. Whereas many people may read the title and assume that it refers to genetic changes to DNA, that does not mean the title is misleading. This is just an opportunity to educate people about the complexities of DNA. It is a good science education moment.
 
expression not sequence may possibly be altered; if true, still a powerful bit of data.
 
True +Barry Newman the DNA code is not being changed, only the expression. But as +Jeff Sayre pointed out from the linked article: "The underlying genetic code in human muscle isn't changed with exercise, but the DNA molecules within those muscles are chemically and structurally altered in very important ways. Those modifications to the DNA at precise locations appear to be early events in the genetic reprogramming of muscle for strength and, ultimately, in the structural and metabolic benefits of exercise."
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