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Exercise Can Influence Your DNA

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(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - In my years of medical training, I have been consistently taught that you are born with certain DNA and that cannot be changed. But, according to research in the journal Cell, this is not necessarily true.

Researchers have found that when healthy but inactive men and women exercise for a matter of minutes, it produces a rather immediate change to their DNA.
Guess what else they found out? Coffee can have a similar effect.

According to their findings, 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.

The new study shows that the DNA within skeletal muscle taken from people after a burst of exercise bears fewer chemical marks than it did before exercise. Those changes take place in stretches of DNA that are involved in turning “on” genes important for muscles’ adaptation to exercise.

So you are not changing DNA but making it work for you.