The latest updates from AFAR.

Grantee in the News: Ian Lanza on how interval exercise improves muscle cells, in Cell Metabolism

Apr 20

Grantee in the News: Ian Lanza on how interval exercise improves muscle cells, in Cell Metabolism View MoreBACK

On March 7, 2017, Cell Metabolism published research co-authored by 2011 AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty recipient, Ian R. Lanza, PhD on how interval exercise strengthens and increases cell mitochondria previously reduced and weakened from aging.

The researchers took baseline measurements for aerobic fitness, blood-sugar levels, gene activity, and mitochondrial health of the muscle cells of 72 sedentary participants, broken into two groups. One group was comprised of individuals aged 30 years or younger, and the other was comprised of individuals older than 64 years of age. The participants were assigned either to weight training, interval exercise, moderate aerobic exercise with light weight training, or an inactive control group.

The researchers observed that the older group participating in interval exercise experienced a change in almost 400 of their genes, compared with a change in only 33 genes in the group of older weight lifters, and 19 genes in the older group of moderate exercisers. The entire interval exercise group showed improved health and an increased number of cell mitochondria, leading researchers to believe that many of these gene changes improve the ability of mitochondria to produce energy for muscle cells. Interestingly, this improvement in mitochondria was especially pronounced among the older interval trainers in comparison to the younger ones.

The article is only accessible with a subscription, but a summary is available here.

The research was also recognized in a related feature story in The New York Times that can be viewed here.

Ian R. Lanza, PhD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

Learn more about the importance of the mitochondria in aging research in AFAR’s expert-edited Infoaging Guide to Mitochondria and Aging here.