Physical exercise improves the elimination of toxic proteins from the muscles. Doing it regularly could help treat muscle weakness, atrophy or sciatica.
A new study praises the benefits of physical exercise on health. This time, it has been shown that the sport improves the elimination of toxic proteins from the muscles, and could therefore help treat muscle weakness, atrophy or sciatica. These health problems affect the elderly or those suffering from sciatic nerve injuries, due to sitting or bedridden for too long.
From tests on rats, scientists have identified that lack of physical exercise alters "autophagy", the biological system that removes damaged proteins from the body. "Daily exercise facilitates the removal of non-functional proteins from the muscles, the loss of these dysfunctional components is very important, and when they accumulate they become toxic and contribute to the deterioration and death of healthy muscle cells, "says Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira, professor at an institute of biomedical sciences (ICB-USP) and director of research.
To better enlighten us, he compares autophagy to a fridge. "The muscles work the same way as a refrigerator, and if you unplug it, the foods that are preserved by the cold will deteriorate at different speeds depending on their composition." The physical exercise is what the body's electricity is. fridge".
Sciatic nerve ligation
For a first experiment, rats underwent ligation of the sciatic nerve. The pain caused the animals to use the affected leg, and the muscles atrophied. Before this operation, some of the animals had an intense physical activity (60% of their maximum aerobic capacity). The others remained sedentary. As a result, surgery was less aggressive for rats that exercised a lot of exercise.
In another experiment, rat muscles with sciatic nerve injury and control rats (without the lesion) were treated with a drug called chloroquine.
"We may be able to develop a drug"
"Chloroquine had no effect on the muscles of rats with sciatic nerve lesions, which proves that inhibition of autophagy is essential for muscle dysfunction caused by lack of stimulus," concludes Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira "If we can identify a molecule that selectively keeps the autophagic system on alert, similar to what happens during exercise, we may be able to develop a drug," he says. he welcomes.
Sciatica is a pain in the lower limb located on the path of the sciatic nerve. There are approximately 100,000 cases of sciatica caused by herniated discs each year in France. In 95% of cases, sciatica pain is due to compression of the nerve by the intervertebral disc.
Muscle weakness is defined as a feeling of lack of strength. It occurs when one or more muscles work little or not, or when you feel exhausted. It can only affect a muscle, a muscle group (shoulder, wrist, knee, foot, etc.), an entire limb, or the whole body. This is a frequent complaint with the advanced age, source of a loss of autonomy if it is not supported.