November 10, 2007
Exercise Pleasure Compounds Protect Heart

When you exercise and get an endorphin high the chemicals that cause that high are what deliver the heart benefits of exercise.

Endorphins and other morphine-like substances known as opioids, which are released during exercise, don't just make you feel good -- they may also protect you from heart attacks, according to University of Iowa researchers.


The UI study investigated the idea that the opioids produced by exercise might have a direct role in cardio-protection. The researchers compared rats that exercised with rats that did not. As expected, exercised rats sustained significantly less heart damage from a heart attack than non-exercised rats. The researchers then showed that blocking opioid receptors completely eliminated these cardio-protective effects in exercising rats, suggesting that opioids are responsible for some of the cardiac benefits of exercise.

This result raises the possibility that some day an opioid/endorphin injection or pill might deliver the benefits to your heart that you currently have to get by hard and time-consuming exercise. Time for your exercise injection.

When you can get all the health benefits of exercising without exercising will you still exercise? (assuming that you exercise now)

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 November 10 08:43 PM  Aging Exercise Studies

HellKaiserRyo said at November 11, 2007 6:25 PM:

Laconically, no...

Audacious Epigone said at November 18, 2007 3:45 AM:

No, but I'd skew the amount of time devoted to different exercises. Lots more biking, no more anaerobic, and probably a lot less running due to potential joint damage.

Protection from heart disease through an injection, of course, wouldn't constitute anywhere near the full benefit of regular exercise.

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