Natural ‘cannabis’ levels boosted by exercise
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Natural ‘cannabis’ levels boosted by exercise

Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids in the body
The cannabis-like substances can help reduce inflammation
The finding comes from research by the University of Nottingham
It means exercise intervention could be used to help treat conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease
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Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the human body – which in turn helps reduce inflammation and could potentially treat conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

A team of researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK, led by Professor Ana Valdes from the School of Medicine, tested 78 people with arthritis.

Thirty-eight of them carried out 15 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercises every day for six weeks, and 40 did nothing.

Those involved in the exercise intervention had not only reduced their pain, but they also had more microbes in their guts of the kind that produce anti-inflammatory substances, lower levels of cytokines and higher levels of endocannabinoids.

The increase in endocannabinoids was strongly linked to changes in the gut microbes and anti-inflammatory substances produced by gut microbes called SCFAS.

The study found that at least one-third of the anti-inflammatory effects of the gut microbiome was due to the increase in endocannabinoids.

The findings were published in a report called The anti-inflammatory effect of bacterial short chain fatty acids is partially mediated by endocannabinoids, published in the journal Gut Microbes.

Doctor Amrita Vijay, a Research Fellow in the School of Medicine and first author of the paper, said: "Our study clearly shows that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-type substances, which can have a positive impact on many conditions.

"As interest in cannabidiol oil and other supplements increases, it is important to know that simple lifestyle interventions, like exercise, can modulate endocannabinoids.”

To read the full research paper, click here.

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Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the human body – which in turn helps reduce inflammation and could potentially treat conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease.
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