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Endurance running is good for your skin but does not prevent ageing of blood vessels

 16 Nov 2017   published by: Stephan Praet



Life-long regular endurance exercise yields positive effects on cardiovascular and metabolic function, disease and mortality rate. Glycation may be a major mechanism behind age-related diseases. However, it remains unknown if skin autofluorescence (SAF), which reflects glycation, is related to arterial and metabolic function in life-long endurance runners and sedentary controls.

What are the findings?

The present study shows that skin autofluorescence is linked to human arterial stiffness and insulin resistance in well-trained elderly and young men as well as sedentary controls.

How might it impact on clinical practice in the future?

Since its non-invasive nature skin autofluorescence may in the future be a helpful tool to predict vascular and metabolic dysfunction (early signs of aging and pathology).

Surprisingly, endurance running only had modest effects on cardiovascular function compared to lean healthy controls. So, although other studies have shown that both blood pressure and the endothelium or inner layer of the vascular bed benefit from endurance exercise, the stiffening of the vascular bed due to ageing may not be prevented by life-long regular endurance exercise.

Couppé C, Dall CH, Svensson RB, Olsen RH, Karlsen A, Praet S, Prescott E, Magnusson SP.

ExpGerontol. 2017 May;91:9-14.

doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.02.002. Epub 2017 Feb 9.



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