Study finds exercising could combat chronic inflammation

Exercising regularly has a number of health benefits, but did you know that exercising muscle could combat chronic inflammation on its own? According to a recent study led by Biomedical engineers at Duke University, the human muscle has an innate ability to ward off the damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised. The results of the study appeared on January 22 in the journal 'Science Advances'. The discovery was made possible through the use of lab-grown, engineered human muscle, demonstrating the potential power of the first-of-its-kind platform in such research endeavours. Inflammation is not inherently good or bad. When the body is injured, an initial low-level inflammation response clears away debris and helps tissue rebuild. Other times, the immune system overreacts and creates an inflammatory response that causes damage, like the often deadly cytokine storms brought on by some cases of COVID-19. And then, there are diseases that lead to chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and sarcopenia, which can cause the muscle to waste away and weaken its ability to contract. Among many molecules that can cause inflammation, one pro-inflammatory molecule, in particular, interferon-gamma, has been associated with various types of muscle wasting and dysfunction.