Dr. Alvaro Velarde discusses the effect of resistance training on circulating irisin in adults.

Dr. Alvaro Velarde discusses the effect of resistance training on circulating irisin in adults.

The researcher and coordinator of the Sports Area of the Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana (Iberoamerican University Foundation, FUNIBER), Dr. Alvaro Velarde, collaborates in a study that examines the long-term effect of resistance training on circulating irisin levels in adults. 

The body produces a variety of substances known as myokines, which are secreted by skeletal muscle cells and are responsible for regulating inflammation and immune system responses. Among these myokines is irisin, a peptide hormone derived from fibronectin domain protein 5 (FNDC5), and since its discovery it has aroused the interest of scientists due to its potential therapeutic uses. This hormone contributes to the transformation of white adipose tissue into beige fat cells, which generate heat and energy expenditure. It also controls mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism in various cells. Therefore, it has been suggested to treat obesity and other metabolic conditions. 

Chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with physical inactivity and increased abdominal fat. On the other hand, regular exercise has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects as it releases myokines in the body. Therefore, for a better understanding of irisin and its role in human health, it is important to study its response to exercise and its relationship with adiposity and inflammation. 

It has been previously investigated how different exercise variables, such as frequency, intensity, time and type of training, can modulate irisin secretion. So far, it has been observed that resistance training can decrease circulating irisin in randomized controlled studies, but multiple factors have not been considered. However, recent studies have demonstrated a transient increase in circulating irisin after a single session of resistance exercise in healthy adults. These results suggest that the cumulative acute effects produced by each training session may cause temporary adaptations over time. 

This study found that while there was a nonsignificant positive trend in serum irisin levels after resistance training programs, the results differed by age, duration, and intensity of training. For example, significantly greater increases in circulating irisin were observed in older adults, as in participants who reduced their body fat percentage through the training program. In addition, progressive higher intensity resistance training of shorter duration appeared to lead to greater increases in circulating irisin. 

Another aspect to consider is supervision and adherence to training. There are several studies that demonstrate how supervised training programs are more effective than home protocols in different types of populations and that strength gains are greater under higher supervision rates. Other authors also highlight the need to comply with 80% of training sessions to ensure better strength results.

While these results are promising, it should be noted that further studies using more precise measurement methods, such as mass spectrometry, should be conducted to better understand the interaction between chronic resistance exercise and irisin. Still, current evidence strongly suggests that incorporating this type of training as part of an active lifestyle can have a favorable impact on the body’s irisin levels, providing potential benefits for overall health and well-being. 

If you would like to learn more about this study, click here

To read more research, consult the UNEATLANTICO repository

The Ibero-American University Foundation (FUNIBER) promotes several study programs in the area of sports. One of them is the Master’s Degree in Physical Activity and Health. A program that provides the basis to know and develop effective training that suits each organism to obtain better results.