Exercise and a New Healthy Hormone

By Bronwen Bartlett

Irisin – a secret exercise hormone?

Exercise is good for your health.

It’s something we all know. There are endless studies showing how regular exercise helps with fitness, weight loss, mental and emotional wellbeing, slowing aging and so much more.

We’re walking, breathing test tubes… shake us up and our hormones are activated!

You’ve probably heard of the feel-good hormones released during exercise, such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.

Now, beyond the benefits of increased heart rate, burning calories and toning muscles, scientists have discovered another hormone, which they think contributes significantly to the overall feel good and health benefits of exercise. It’s a hormone protein called Irisin.

Zee News looked into the study.


An exercise-induced hormone does exists in humans, say scientists, adding that this hormone, called Irisin, circulates in the blood at nanogram levels and increases during exercise.

Irisin’s discovery in 2012 was exciting because scientists had potentially found one reason why exercise keeps us healthy. When irisin levels were increased in mice, their blood and metabolism improved.

But the presence of Irisin in humans was recently questioned by groups of scientists.

According to senior study authors Bruce Spiegelman and Steven Gygi from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, that the confusion over Irisin comes down to disagreement over how Irisin protein is made in skeletal muscle cells and the detection limits of protocols.

“The data is compelling and clearly demonstrates the existence of irisin in blood circulation,” said endocrinologist Francesco Celi from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical center, who was not involved with the study.

Results from human studies are still mixed as to what kinds of exercise raise irisin, but data suggests that high-intensity training protocols are particularly effective.



Zee News