Mechanisms of exercise-regulated telomere length and health promotion
Qi Yuqing, Liu Xiaoran
School of Kinesiology and Health, Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, Beijing 100191, China
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As we age, the function of various systems in the human body gradually decreases and the telomeres, located at the ends of chromosomes, consequently shorten, leading to the development and progression of various chronic age-related diseases. As a cost-effective intervention, scientific exercise has been shown to reduce the rate of telomere wear, maintain telomere length, delay the aging process and reduce the probability of disease. At the same time, better health level is important for healthy aging.
OBJECTIVE: To sort out the role of telomeres in health promotion by analyzing telomere and physical fitness, the common adverse factors of telomere length shortening and chronic disease occurrence, and the influence of telomere length on the regulation of the occurrence and development of common chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and mental disease, as well as to summarize the possible regulatory mechanism of exercise regulating telomere length, and to explore the role of telomere in the regulation of exercise on the above-mentioned chronic diseases for the purpose of health promotion.
METHODS: The search terms of “exercise, telomere, aerobic capacity, muscle strength, aging” in Chinese and English were used to search the relevant literatures in CNKI and PubMed, respectively. A total of 108 articles were included for final review.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: In terms of physical fitness and health promotion, there is a strong correlation between the maximum aerobic exercise capacity and muscle strength of the human body and telomere length. Long-term physical exercise can enhance the level of physical fitness to maintain telomere length and promote the heath of the human body. In terms of chronic diseases and health promotion, abnormal telomere length can promote the occurrence of some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and mental diseases, and the factors that accelerate the shortening of telomere length, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and telomerase activity, also have adverse effects on the development of these diseases. The regulation of telomere length by exercise can reduce the levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, improve the activity of telomerase and enhance the stability of telomere protein complex. Through these regulatory mechanisms, exercise slows the rate of telomere wear and maintains consistent telomere length, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with abnormal telomere length, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and mental diseases. Therefore, telomeres play a positive role when exercise is used to regulate related diseases and promote human health.
Key words: exercise, telomere, aging, aerobic capacity, muscle strength, regulatory mechanism, disease, health promotion