Exercise: Anti-inflammatory

We have discussed in almost every class the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. It seems fit to discuss how exercise acts as an anti-inflammatory. Regular exercise offers protection against chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation. We have talked about many different types of chronic inflammatory diseases; obesity/type II diabetes, stroke, inflammatory bowel diseases, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation has been introduced as a term for conditions in which there is typically a two to threefold increase in the systemic concentrations of TNF-¦Á, IL-1, IL-6, IL-1ra, sTNF-R, and CRP is reflected.

Typically, IL-6 is the first cytokine present in the circulation during exercise. Plasma-IL-6 increases in an exponential fashion with exercise and is related to exercise intensity, duration, the mass of muscle recruited, and endurance. It has been demonstrated that the IL-6 protein is expressed in contracting muscle fibers, and that IL-6 is released from skeletal muscle during exercise.

The anti-inflammatory effects of IL-6 are demonstrated by stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and cytokine inhibitors such as IL-1ra and IL-10 and
TNF-R. Furthermore, IL-6 stimulates the release of soluble TNF-¦Á receptors, but not IL-1¦Â or TNF-¦Á.
Figure 1: A marked increase in IL-6, which is followed by IL-1ra, TNF-R, and IL-10.

IL-10 acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-1¦Â, IL-1-¦Á, and TNF-¦Á along with the production of chemokines, all of which play a critical role in the activation of granulocytes, monocytes/macrophages, natural killer cells, and T and B cells and, in their recruitment to the sites of inflammation.


As I researched, I found many different websites that demonstrated how exercise can prove beneficial to those suffering from inflammatory diseases.

Heart Disease/Stroke:

increase strength of heart muscle
decrease blood pressure
increase HDL
decrease LDL
improve blood flow
Obesity/Type II Diabetes:

decrease body fat
increase muscle mass
increase body¡¯s ability to use calories
Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteoarthritis:

increase muscle strength
decrease pain and fatigue
increase grip strength
replenishment of lubrication to joint
promotion of bone formation
prevention of bone loss with aging
Crohn¡¯s Disease (mild only)

improved symptoms
increased ratings of quality of life
Multiple Sclerosis:

improved bowel and bladder function
increased coordination
increased ratings of quality of life
decreased risk of CAD
increased endurance
Parkinson¡¯s Disease:

decreased incidence of muscle cramps, rigidity of joints
decreased aches/pains associated with staying still
maintained control of gross movement (not tremors)
heighten sense of achievement kept stress and anxiety levels low
In conclusion, regular exercise protects against diseases associated with chronic low-grade systemic inflammation.


Inflammablog 2: Exercise: Anti-inflammatory


Potential Biomarkers for Physical Exercise-Induced Brain Health | IntechOpen