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The Beneficial Effect of Physical Exercise on Inflammatory Makers in Older Individuals

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 6 ]


Pablo Gómez-Rubio* and Isabel Trapero   Pages 1008 - 1016 ( 9 )


Old age is associated with a loss of motor functions and a general progressive decline in cognitive functions. Physical exercise is one of the ways in which inflammatory levels in general can be reduced, and therefore physical exercise can be considered a biological aging decelerator. In this article, we examine the relationships between physical exercise and inflammatory markers reported for the different physical exercise protocols that have been used in studies with older individuals, as well as the effects of these regimens. The different types of exercises programmed, and methods used to implement them were very heterogeneous in the articles we analysed. Both, the aerobic exercise and resistance training protocols produced a decrease in plasma levels of IL-6, CRP and TNF-α, and an increase of IL-10 plasma levels as a chronic effect. However, the acute-response of physical exercise appeared to be an initial increase in IL-6 expression and plasma IL-6 levels. Continuing with these exercise programs usually subsequently achieved a chronic response in which there was a decrease in both the basal levels of IL-6, CRP and TNF-α, and the IL-6 produced as acute responses. Regardless of the type of exercise performed, it seems that the exercise parameters, intensity, duration, subject variables, fitness, and level of inflammation are key factors in achieving the expected balance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.


Inflammatory markers, aerobic exercise, resistance training, aging, IL-6 expression, plasma IL-6 levels.


Department of Nursing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Department of Nursing, University of Valencia, Valencia

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