The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, reported that exercise increases the amount of cannabis-like substances in the body, which may help reduce inflammation and may also offer a number of other health advantages such as a reduced risk of cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.
According to a paper published in the journal Gut Microbes, exercise can reduce pain in people with arthritis and reduce the cytokines – substances that cause inflammation – in the body.
Researchers added that exercise also increased levels of substances similar to cannabis, called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids can alter gut bacteria, causing them to produce anti-inflammatory substances as a result of increased levels.
“Our study demonstrated that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-like substances. Exercise can help treat many conditions,” Amrita Vijay, co-author of the study paper and a Research Fellow in School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, stated in a press release. As the popularity of cannabidiol oil and other supplements grows, it is essential to know that simple lifestyle intervention like exercise can modulate endocannabinoids.”
It has been shown that exercise reduces chronic inflammation and pain, which reduces the risk of illnesses such as arthritis, cancer and potentially heart disease. Until now, unfortunately, not much is known about how these effects work.
Over 78 people with arthritis were studied for the study. The other 38 performed muscle-strengthening exercises every day for six weeks, while 40 did not exercise. By the end of the study, the participants who exercised had reduced pain and microbes in their gut compared to those who did not exercise.