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Study: Running Actually Lowers Inflammation in Knee Joints

Study: Running Actually Lowers Inflammation in Knee Joints
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Brigham Young University


Brigham Young University (click to view)

Brigham Young University

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Running may also slow the process that leads to osteoarthritis.

New research from BYU exercise science professors finds that pro-inflammatory molecules actually go down in the knee joint after running.

In other words, it appears running can reduce joint inflammation.

“It flies in the face of intuition,” said study coauthor Matt Seeley, associate professor of exercise science at BYU. “This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.”

In a study recently published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, Seeley and a group of BYU colleagues, as well as Dr. Eric Robinson from Intermountain Healthcare, measured inflammation markers in the knee joint fluid of several healthy men and women aged 18–35, both before and after running.


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The researchers found that the specific markers they were looking for in the extracted synovial fluid—two cytokines named GM-CSF and IL-15—decreased in concentration in the subjects after 30 minutes of running. When the same fluids were extracted before and after a non-running condition, the inflammation markers stayed at similar levels.

Hyldahl said the study results indicate running is chondroprotective, which means exercise may help delay the onset of joint degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Read the full press release here.

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