Want a simple and effective way to decrease pain and lower inflammation in the body? Use your muscles! Thanks to a new study, we have additional affirmation that exercise lowers inflammation, as well as deeper insight into how it does so.
For this study, scientists divided 78 arthritis patients into one of two study groups. Group one engaged in 15 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercise daily, and group two did nothing. At the end of this six-week study, those who engaged in the daily exercise had several positive outcomes.
They included: less pain, a boost in anti-inflammatory gut bacteria, lower blood levels of pro-inflammatory compounds, and higher blood levels of endocannabinoids, the body’s natural cannabis-like agents. What’s more, it appears the endocannabinoids liberated as a result of the exercise were a major driver of the anti-inflammatory effects of the gut bacteria.
Take home message: move your muscles to lower pain and to decrease inflammation through multiple channels.
Gut Microbes, 2021; 13 (1) DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2021.1997559