Epigenetics of exercise: Our muscles appear to have ‘molecular memory’

Our muscles may actually possess a molecular memory in the form of epigenetic marks on our DNA. According to a study published in Scientific Reports, these chemical tags tell a tale of when skeletal muscles grew after exercise and could possibly help them grow bigger later on.

Although you might think that month-long resistance training class that you’ve been meaning to sign up for again was all for naught, your muscles might actually remember it.

The study conducted by researchers at Keele University – which looked at over 850,000 sites on human DNA – contributes to the epigenetics of exercise.

Their results show for the first time that epigenetic marks are not only adjusted as a result of resistance exercise, but can be remembered later on for muscle growth, even after the muscles may have returned back to their initial size.

The results could have far-reaching influence on athletes who have been banned for using drugs to build muscles and enhance performance. It is possible these drugs could actually create long-term changes to the muscles, continuing to affect performance long after the athlete has served his or her short-term ban.

[A]thletes may be able to improve their recovery from an injury and accompanying muscle loss if we can pinpoint the genes responsible for muscle memory, according to Dr. [Adam] Sharples.

Read full, original post: Muscles ‘Remember’ Previous Exercise in the Form of Epigenetic Tags on DNA

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