Since diabetes and heart disease run in my family, I think it's great news that there are plenty of things I can do to fight the genetic odds nature dealt me. New studies suggest that exercise can override the harmful effects of some "bad genes" and boost the beneficial effects of others.
Consider these benefits of exercise I read about in Peter Jaret's recent story on nutrition and genetics in EatingWell Magazine:
- Scientists at the University of Kuopio, in Finland, found that people with particular variants of three different genes (dubbed GLUT2, ABCC8 and PPARG) stand a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But when people with these variants exercise regularly, they lessen the danger. Although the studies didn't look at why, scientists have shown that exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar levels.
- Exercise can also amplify the effects of "good genes." For example, people with one variant of a gene called LIPC, which controls