Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise To Avoid Gallstones, New Research Suggests

Date:
February 15, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
A new study shows that exercise-trained mice get far fewer gallstones than sedentary mice and identifies potential mechanisms to explain why this occurs. Gallstones form when bile cholesterol levels become high enough to precipitate, fall out of solution, and solidify.

A new University of Illinois study shows that exercise-trained mice get far fewer gallstones than sedentary mice and identifies potential mechanisms to explain why this occurs.

"For the first time, we have direct evidence that physical activity reduces gallstone formation, adding to the ever-increasing number of reasons that people should get more exercise,"said Kenneth Wilund, a faculty member in the U of I Division of Nutritional Sciences and an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Community Health.

Gallbladder disease affects 10 to 25 percent of adults in the United States, although some persons who are affected may not have symptoms. It has the second highest cost of any digestive disease at $5.8 billion annually and results in over 800,000 hospitalizations each year.

Gallstones form when bile cholesterol levels become high enough to precipitate, fall out of solution, and solidify, Wilund said.

In the study, 50 mice from a gallstone-susceptible strain were fed a high-fat diet containing cholic acid, which helps increase cholesterol absorption. They were then divided into two groups. One group of mice ran on treadmills 45 minutes per day five days a week; the other group did not exercise.

After 12 weeks, the scientists removed the animals' gallbladders, pooling the stones from each group and weighing them. The gallstones in the sedentary group weighed two and a half times more than the stones in the exercised group.

"You could see through the gallbladders in the exercise-trained group, whereas the gallbladders in the sedentary group were full of stones," Wilund said.

To understand more about why this happened, the scientists then measured the expression of selected genes in the liver and intestine that are involved in cholesterol absorption and may affect gallstone development.

"In the exercised mice, we saw an increase in the expression of two genes (LDLr and SRB1) that help bring cholesterol into the liver to 'clear' it from the circulation. But we also found that a protein called Cyp27 was upregulated about two a half times; this resulted in there being more bile acids to solubilize the increased cholesterol so it didn't turn into gallstones.

"Taken together, the differences in gene expression between the exercised and sedentary mice in this study show how exercise training could simultaneously improve cholesterol levels while also inhibiting gallstone formation," he said.

Previous observational studies have suggested that people who are physically fit have fewer gallstones and lower cholesterol, but laboratory studies had not confirmed the link.

Wilund said these mice are a useful model because humans have a similar set of genes that regulate liver and bile cholesterol metabolism. He also said that human studies would be difficult to perform because of the number of years it takes for people to develop gallstones.

"We certainly found the changes in gene expression in the exercised animals very intriguing," he said. "The results add to a body of evidence that supports the importance of physical activity for good health."

Co-authors of the study are Laura A. Feeney, Emily J. Tomayko, and Hae R. Chung of the University of Illinois and Kijin Kim of Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea. Funding was provided by the University of Illinois Research Board.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, can be viewed online at: http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/01292.2007v1.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Exercise To Avoid Gallstones, New Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080213121438.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2008, February 15). Exercise To Avoid Gallstones, New Research Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080213121438.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Exercise To Avoid Gallstones, New Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080213121438.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins