Experts Reveal the Unexpected Negative Effects of Excessive Exercise Lifestyle – 3 hours ago


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Exercise is one of the activities most recommended by experts to maintain health and prevent the body from various risks of disease. Therefore, it is not surprising that most people start exercising regularly.

In fact, quite a few of them spend a lot of time exercising to the point of overdoing it. Because they think that the more they exercise, the healthier their body condition will be.

Apparently, this assumption is not true. Launching from Science Alert, a study revealed that excessive and strenuous exercise can weaken the immune system.


“Very healthy people may be more susceptible to respiratory viral infections after intense exercise,” said biomedical scientist from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Ernesto Nakayasu, quoted Thursday (23/11/2023).

“One of the causes is a lack of inflammatory activity to fight infection,” he added.

Although there is strong evidence to suggest that moderate physical activity in healthy people can support the immune system in the long term, what happens to the immune system directly after vigorous exercise is still a matter of debate.

To date, there is little evidence to support the claim that intense exercise increases the risk of opportunistic infections. Additionally, there is still no known link between weakened immunity and extreme exercise, although some studies have noted self-reported upper respiratory infections in athletes.

Therefore, Nakayasu and his colleagues tested the blood plasma, urine and saliva of 11 firefighters before and after 45 minutes of intense exercise lifting weights of up to 20 kilograms across a hilly area.

“We wanted to take a deep look at what’s happening in the body and see if we could detect the dangers of fatigue in its early stages,” explains PNNL bioanalytical chemist Kristin Burnum-Johnson.

“Perhaps we can reduce the risks of vigorous exercise for firefighters, athletes and members of the military,” he continued.

As a result, the study found that there were signs of possible suppression of the immune system in firefighters who did physical exercise. In addition, a decrease in inflammation molecules was also found. This is accompanied by an increase in opiorphin (a painkilling substance in saliva).

“[Opiorphin] may increase blood flow to muscles during exercise to improve delivery of oxygen and nutrients in the body,” the research team wrote in their report.

“We speculate that the decrease in inflammatory molecules we observed in saliva after exercise represents an adaptive mechanism to increase gas exchange in response to higher cellular oxygen demand,” the report continues.

In addition, the researchers also found changes in the participants’ oral microbiome. Scientists suspect that this is caused by an increase in antimicrobial peptides found in the mouths of firefighters after their strenuous activity.

“However, this increase in antimicrobial peptides had no effect in inhibiting the growth of E. coli and indicates the limited capacity of antimicrobial peptides in the oral cavity to protect against host infection,” explained Nakayasu.

Nonetheless, a number of scientists suggest that some of the observed changes may not be indicative of immune system suppression, but of “a state of enhanced immune surveillance and regulation.”

Although within-subject comparisons reduce the impact of the small sample size, firefighters experience “unique exposure” to pollutants during fires that can likely alter their immune reactions.

The researchers emphasized that this study only looked at healthy and active men so further research needs to be carried out with a wider range of research subjects.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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