Exercise to lose weight is not necessarily true for everyone.
Research by Dr Jamie Timmons, Professor of systems biology at Loughborough University, UK shows that not everyone will gain health benefits from exercise.
He has developed a new genetic test, called XRPredict,
costing £199, which identifies how much benefit an individual will derive from
aerobic exercise. The results of the tests are processed by his company
specializes in the training of athletes and Dr Timmons explained that: “… ten
years ago we started trying to come up with diagnostics that explained the
differences we saw when we trained people. We were seeing huge variations in
response to the same exercise programme.”
They discovered that:
1 in 6 of the general population is a high responder and enjoys
a 25-50% increase in aerobic fitness if following the NHS guidelines on
1 in 3 is a medium responder and will show a 15-25% increase
1 in 3 is a medium-low responder and will show a 5-15%
1 in 6 is a low responder and will show at most only a 5%
Most of the low responders will see no benefit in exercise
which is 3% of the population or 1.8 million people in Britain.
Prof Timmons believes that low responders find it harder to
convert the oxygen they breathe into energy that can be utilised by their
The answer may lie in changing the exercise regime to suit the individual for example resistance training with weights or perhaps combining exercise with anti-inflammatory drugs. Although he admits more work needs to be done to assess these options.
If you are someone who feels that regular exercise has
failed to improve your fitness or mental well being and wish to take the
XRPredict test you will need to supply details of your height, weight, current
and past exercise regimes and a saliva swab to their lab.
Even if the results of your test reveal that you are a low
responder, Prof Timmons believes just spending a short while doing exercise you
enjoy is worthwhile.