In addition to enhanced immune response, the adults also showed significant improvements in muscle strength and lipid profiles, with decreased total cholesterol and LDL concentrations.
Jennifer DiPenta, a student working in the labs of Dr. Rene J. L. Murphy and Dr. Julia Green-Johnson, reported the study at Experimental Biology 2004, as part of the scientific sessions of The American Physiological Society.
Baseline immunological and physiological functions as well as lipid profiles were obtained from 10 men and 12 women, ages 54 to 82 years (median age 63.5), all retired. They then were trained in simple, moderate intensity resistance exercises, involving tubing and exercise balls, which they could do alone at home. During the next eleven months, the participants were monitored with bi-weekly phone calls and monthly home visits, during which the programs were altered, based on their abilities. At the end of approximately 11 months of training, they returned to the Centre of Lifestyle Studies at Acadia University for another series of physical and immune function tests.
Muscle strength increased significantly. There were no changes in weight, but total cholesterol and plasma LDL decreased significantly (HDL remained unchanged). To measure immune activity, lymphocytes from each participant were incubated with K562 tumor cells known to be targeted by natural killer cells. After eleven months of par
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