Myokines – the great self-healing power of our bodies

If you play sport and get regular exercise, you will be healthier. There’s more truth and scientific evidence behind this statement than we previously supposed.

2007, Danish professor Beate Pedersen discovered hormone-like transmitters named myokines. To date, over 300 different myokines have been identified, but it is estimated that many more types exist.

Myokines are produced and released by our muscles during contraction; or, in other words, during movement. The longer or more intensively we exercise our muscles, the more of these hormone-like substances are produced. They have a signal effect on many different metabolic processes in our bodies. So far, the effects on the muscles, the liver and the brain have been researched. Myokines promote muscle growth and maintain the structure and function of the brain.

Interleukin 6 (IL 6) is the most-researched myokine. When we exercise our muscles, the concentration in the blood can increase by up to 100 times. IL 6 promotes absorption of glucose in the muscles, strengthens the immune system, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Because of these findings, Prof. Pedersen is convinced that the skeletal musculature is not merely responsible for movement, but also plays a vital role in our metabolism.

This means that the statement above – that you will be healthier if you play sport – can be explained and justified through scientific evidence. The more we move, exercise and train our muscles, the more myokines are available in our bodies for assisting with self-healing and fending off diseases.

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