London: A mouse study has provided the first evidence that exercise stimulates autophagy, a process by which a cell responds to starvation and other stresses by degrading damaged or unneeded parts of itself to produce energy.It is sometimes called the cell’s housekeeping pathway.This finding has led the UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers to suggest that the health benefits of exercise on blood sugar metabolism may come from the body’s ability to devour itself.“Exercise is known to have many health benefits but the mechanisms have been unclear. Autophagy is also known to have several health benefits, and these benefits correspond closely to the effects of exercise. We hypothesized that some of the health benefits of exercise might be explained through autophagy,” said senior author Dr. Beth Levine, professor of internal medicine and microbiology who leads the Center for Autophagy Research at UT Southwestern.
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