Aging, exercise, and immunosenscence

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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acel.12750/full

The effect of lifelong exercise decreases the immune system's degradation with age. Lifelong cyclists were compared to more sedentary age-matched counterparts. Several markers for immune system activity level were found to be higher in the cyclist group.
 
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tech99
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I think anyone who has done a little cycling will know the magical effect on general health, but these results for the 80 year old super-cyclists, who basically had the immune system of 19 year olds, are really amazing. A summary for non-medical people would be useful - maybe this link will work: -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43308729
 
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pinball1970
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The effect of lifelong exercise decreases the immune system's degradation with age
This is interesting, I will try and dig out the study (this was in the 90s) evidence saying certain types of exercise could increased or decrease the immune response. Anaerobic vs aerobic, frequency and intensity all playing a part.

I supposed we should not be surprised that a good cardio-vascular system leads to unrelated long term beneficial affects?
 
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Ygggdrasil
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As always correlation ≠ causation.

There could be various selection biases at work. People who cycle regularly could simply be healthier because you have to be relatively healthy to keep up a cycling habit; people with joint, weight or other health problems would likely not choose to cycle regularly. Cycling also requires time and money, so there could be selection for higher socioeconomic status. People who choose to cycle regularly are also likely to be more health conscious that the average adult, so their diet is likely also going to be different.
 
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  • #5
tech99
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I agree with your suggestion of selection bias, although they did make a comparison with healthy non-cycling adults, who did not show the immune system improvement.
 
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Evo
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I agree with your suggestion of selection bias, although they did make a comparison with healthy non-cycling adults, who did not show the immune system improvement.
All of the women in my family have lived into their mid 90's to early 100's. None exercised outside of daily chores, they were wealthy, they had servants, My great aunt who never lifted a finger died at age 103 her sister died at age 105. The exception was my mother's real mother that lived on a farm, she died age 96, so she did get some exercise from working around the farm. My father's mother who lived her life here in the US and never exercised died at 94. My mother recently died the youngest at age 90.

So, I do not exercise as I do not believe that it contributes to longevity. I believe that it's mostly in your genes. I was raised on a very healthy diet and although I have high cholesterol, my doctor was shocked that the tests I've had have shown that the cholesterol isn't forming plaque and the one tiny spot it did was soft, not hard.

While this article is not a peer reviewed journal, I think that it is an eye opener, and it certainly applies to me.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/why-cholesterol-may-not-b_b_290687.html
 
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So, let's think about this...I'm trying to picture who becomes a cyclist in the first place, the pudgy fat kids, the single mums, the pre-diabetics, the guy working the night shift to hold 2 jobs?

And I'm wondering what cyclists do when their health deteriorates...accident with a long recovery, cancer treatments, kidney disease...do they keep cycling? I'm tending to agree with the dude who thought there could possibly be biases built into this equation.
 
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jim mcnamara
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I should weigh in.

1. @Ygggdrasil is correct about bias, and IMO a little overzealous in explaining shortcomes and their effects.
2. What you should do is: realize this is a preliminary study - so conclusions are maybe, so also are any proposed bias issues == maybes.
3. Suppose we really want to answer this question. This study is step one on the path to a good answer, and cannot be overlooked.
4. Step two ... Step n all involve refining the testing of the hypothesis, limited only by time, monetary resources, and human capital.
5. Popular Science reporting is not trustworthy , so try to read material from NIH or phys.org. All of the weird foods you saw scrolling by on Facebook last week are not new cancer cures.

The important part is - how far do you go in #4. Unless you design a multiyear, 10 million dollar study (like a random controlled trail, the gold standard for this stuff) you cannot rebut most criticisms.

In an old-fashioned Philosophy of Science labelling system, the investigation would be more like an "alpha" study - descriptive analysis. 'Hey look what we found. It is worth more attention.' The studies with no followups make you wonder

Real world example: Let's say we published papers that named some newly found plants. One name was shown later to be wrong, a nomen confusum (bad synonym). Good. That's progress. It was already given a name years before. But without the descriptive start nobody would have known that our plant X lived at 2500m in the mountains. So, turns out it was in other places, too. And already named - correctly. The study was superceded, and we all came out ahead.

We should not just a priori dismiss primary descriptive research. Or base our lifestyle on it either. There is a fair middle ground.
 
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  • #9
pinball1970
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So, I do not exercise as I do not believe that it contributes to longevity
The evidence is that exercise is beneficial for ones physical/mental health and well being.

I can tell when I have not played sport for a couple of weeks, a run for the bus or the train and the time it takes my heart beat to return to normal is increased.

I am over 50 now so I cant do the really fast stuff but I will continue to do weights and other sports till my joints tell me otherwise.
 
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I am over 50 now so I cant do the really fast stuff
Why not? [With the right nutrition plan it's possible ... (just go up gradually)]

Besides the immune system discoveries, recent neurological studies suggest that physical exercise also helps avoid or delay different types of dementia (so not only mental but also physical exercise helps too in that direction).
 
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  • #11
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The evidence is that exercise is beneficial for ones physical/mental health and well being.
I definitely agree with that, I just don't think anyone can assume exercise is going to greatly prolong their life. It may mean a healthier old age, which could possibly add some small amount of time. I think the quality of life in old age is an important benefit.
 
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  • #12
pinball1970
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I think the quality of life in old age is an important benefit.
I think thats it, longevity is pointless if the quality of life is poor. I have asthma and that bothers me, build up of scar tissue if I gt chest infections and attacks regular enough. I just have to be careful keep my weigh down and keep active. The life Hawking had for me would have been a living hell, trapped in useless body. My worst nightmare.
 
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pinball1970
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Why not? [With the right nutrition plan it's possible ... (just go up gradually)]

Besides the immune system discoveries, recent neurological studies suggest that physical exercise also helps avoid or delay different types of dementia (so not only mental but also physical exercise helps too in that direction).
By fast I mean things like football (Soccer) high impact that stresses the joints. Badminton is as fast as I get these days but its not enough to get ones heart and lungs going. My joins have taken a hammering over the years so I have to tone it down.
Are there any studies on retired sports men and women? Longevity? Degenerative diseases? How does one measure the effectiveness efficiency of the immune system? response to controlled antigens? I do not have access to many of the links as I am not an academic/scientist.
 
  • #14
Laroxe
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I think bias is a major issue in a great deal of public health messages and the emphasis on lifestyle interventions, they are effective ways of shifting responsibility for illness to the individual and can influence health resource spending. In reality we don't seem to have moved beyond the seven deadly sins and a great deal of the evidence used is of no better quality than that used to developed that list.
Health promotion is in fact a large industry with many people employed and even national economies effected by the messages. When it was discovered that the Mediterranean diet had little is any effect on cardiovascular risk, the main reason it was promoted, rather than just give up it was then promoted for a range of alternative conditions and eventually into mental health. It became an intervention looking for a disease.
Exercise has similar problems, people who engage in regular exercise do feel better however the majority of these will of course be young people who have high recovery rates. As we age our physical health declines, commonly as a result of inflammatory conditions, the first question I would ask when looking at the percentage of 80 year olds capable of being "super cyclist's". well of course around half the population don't even reach this age and a large study from 2015 in the NE of England that looked at the health of 85 year olds found; around 10% were in institutional care, 51% suffered from significant osteoarthritis, 11% had cognitive impairment, 21% were incontinent, 61% had significant hearing impairment and 37% visual impairment. Overall 77.6% had difficulties in their activities of living.
The claim of these people having the immune system of 19 year old's simply isn't credible for all sorts of reasons and I would suggest that an exercise that is primarily focused on specific parts of the body is unlikely to be the best. My guess would be the lead author is a cyclist.
Associations are not totally useless but probably represent the weakest form of evidence, their best use in in guiding further study. The American Statistical Association suggested that only those associations that indicate a relative risk of over 2.1 are worth even considering, the RR in the case of smoking and cancer being in the region of 20.1. However this is studiously ignored in most health promotion work and while I haven't looked up these results, from past experience its unlikely this even meets that level.
 
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By fast I mean things like football (Soccer) high impact that stresses the joints. Badminton is as fast as I get these days but its not enough to get ones heart and lungs going. My joins have taken a hammering over the years so I have to tone it down.
Are there any studies on retired sports men and women? Longevity? Degenerative diseases? How does one measure the effectiveness efficiency of the immune system? response to controlled antigens? I do not have access to many of the links as I am not an academic/scientist.
I will give a reply to this later (I have to look for my sources in my bookmarks and database). The one I recall right off the top of my head is AAAA (American Anti-Aging Association). They have several sources and studies.
 
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Ygggdrasil
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Are there any studies on retired sports men and women? Longevity?
Here's a non-peer reviewed look at athletes in the four major American professional sports (as well a wrestling):
morris-early-deaths-sports.png

which shows that pro athletes in the four major sports tend to outlive the average American.

Outside of the WWF, professional athletes beat actuarial expectations. The NFL — which is commonly portrayed as being one step up from the Ludi — at the very least doesn’t appear to produce many early deaths. Even offensive linemen, whose curve would be a bit higher on the grid, come in well under average (with about 4 percent dead in the entire age range).

Though a bit surprising, there are good reasons why we might expect successful pro athletes to be better than average at surviving the 35- to 60-year-old period of their lives. They make a lot of money during their careers and have fairly good job prospects (relative to average) thereafter. They operate in a disciplined, highly regulated environment during a formative period of their lives and face extensive drug testing. Not to mention, these athletes are highly skilled and physically honed professionals. Their bodies may take a lot of damage that may stay with them for the rest of their lives, but it’s not the kind of damage that typically leads to an early grave.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/feature...death-rate-to-the-nfls-and-other-pro-leagues/
 

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  • #17
Laroxe
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I thought this was interesting because of the cycling reference
Of course both of these studies mention wealth without any comparison data, in fact the gap in LE between rich and poor in the UK is around 8.4 years. Its also not clear if the comparisons are made with the groups at the same age (post Olympics) as this would distort the results.

http://www.bmj.com/press-releases/2...-population-cyclists-have-no-survival-advanta
 
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pinball1970
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n fact the gap in LE between rich and poor in the UK is around 8.4 years. I
Area specific too, 50-100 miles means the world of difference between mortality and morbidity
 
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pinball1970
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I mean mortality and morbidity vary greatly
 
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pinball1970
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I thought this was interesting because of the cycling reference

Crazy


Golf is hardly a sport its just walking around! Not even that if you have one of those little trucks
 
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