Irisin-Exercise Hormone That Exists In Humans
Today we are going to talk about an exercise hormone- Irisin. You must not have heard about it. There has been a lot of controversy regarding the exercise hormone- Irisin. Some felt that it is produced when an individual works up a sweat and it is a promising weight loss treatment while the others say the hormone ‘irisin’ doesn’t even exist in humans.
Now, one particular research team says that it has proved the existence of irisin in human beings. They have used a technique that is a lot more precise than the technique used earlier to identify the hormone. The researchers have clearly mentioned in the study’s result that the hormone ‘irisin’ (which is a protein) exists in humans.
Irisin was first discovered in 2012 at Harvard Medical School when researchers found that both mice and people produced the hormone while exercising. Studies that were conducted later found that irisin in mice improved the regulation of blood sugar and resulted in weight loss. People started speculating that a drug made out of the hormone could probably be used as a treatment for obesity. Obesity is an epidemic that affects billions of people all over the globe. Finding a solution to the problem will help so many souls.
All this sounds good but recently there was a debate about the very existence of irisin when another group of researchers from Duke University, questioned the methods that were used for identification of the hormone. The researchers argued that that antibodies that were used in the original study were not specific, which meant that they reacted to other proteins in the blood apart from irisin.
In the latest study, the researchers who discovered the hormone irisin used a method called quantitative mass spectrometry.
The researchers were able to identify irisin in blood samples of both sedentary people and individuals who were doing aerobic training for 12 weeks. The levels varied in both kinds of individuals. In sedentary people it was 3.6 nanograms per milliliter and in people who worked out it was 4.3 nanograms per milliliter.
The researchers at Harvard Medical School say that irisin circulates in humans and is altered with exercise. These measurements depict that even though the presence of irisin in the blood is in small amounts, its concentration is similar to that of essential hormones like insulin and leptin (hunger hormone).
The new findings seem very convincing. However, the research does not answer one question which is as follows:
Does the hormone provide benefits for the body when individuals exercise?
In a previous study, there was no link established between the amount of irisin and positive health outcomes in individuals who exercised. There is a need for future research to show whether irisin is related in any way to the health benefits of exercise. The study of irisin and other proteins secreted from muscle in response to movement and exercise is an interesting area of research. There is so much that is unknown about molecular mechanisms of exercise. If we learn about them, it can be helpful to us in designing therapeutics and in finding out how effective our exercise/physical therapy programs actually are.
So, let us wait and watch what future research reveals!
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