Drs. Andrew Mendelsohn and James Larrick at the Panorama Research Institute and Regenerative Sciences Institute, in Sunnyvale, California, have complied an impressive list of reviews on the effects of exercise. Here’s the first in a series of summaries of their recent publications.
Here’s what we know.
Aerobic exercise (performed at a moderate intensity over a relatively long periods)
Extends life span and likely health span by 2 to 6 years
Improves blood sugar regulation
Anaerobic resistance exercise (strength training)
Increases or maintains muscle mass
Improves cognitive function
Anti-oxidant supplement trade-offs
No evidence supports increased longevity
Vitamins C, E, resveratrol, and acetyl-N-cysteine blunt the beneficial effects of exercise on glucose sensitivity and blood sugar regulation.
However, vitamin C has beneficial effects on inhibiting exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
n-3 PUFAs (omega-3 fatty acids) do not blunt blood sugar regulatory benefits of aerobic exercise and actually increase anabolic activity in skeletal muscle.
However, a large clinical study reported an association of omega-3 fatty acids blood levels with increased incidence of prostate cancer, especially aggressive prostate cancer.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “There are significant trade-offs in the use of dietary supplementation for prevention and treatment of diseases associated with aging.”
Caveats relate to supplements, but, “For most individuals, moderate exercise is of significant benefit.”
Check with your doctor for advice on the best exercise and smart use of anti-oxidant supplements for you.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.