Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get all the benefits they are supposed to get from exercise––like feeling energized, losing weight, building more toned and defined muscles, etc.––while others exercise the same amount and see no change? Are you frustrated with the way your work out regimen doesn’t seem to be making any difference in your lifestyle or your look? If so, it might have less to do with your routine and more to do with your proteins.

exercise

What Is Selenoprotein P?

Selenoprotein P is, according to a 2005 study published in the medical journal Annual Review of Nutrition, “an abundant extracellular glycoprotein that is rich in selenocysteine.” The protein itself is produced in the liver, and then the liver secretes it into the bloodstream. Like many different molecules in the body, certain people are likely to have more of it than others. As discovered in a recent study, though, the amount of selenoprotein P your body produces could be directly related to whether or not you are able to gain the benefits normally associated with regular exercise.

Recent Studies on the Link Between Selenoprotein P and Exercise

According to the Science Daily, researchers at Kanazawa University in Japan have recently reported that those with high concentrations of selenoprotein P in their bodies are less likely to be able to gain the effects of regular exercise than those who have lower concentrations of this protein. This study was conducted in two parts.

  • First, researchers studied mice, subjecting them to 30 minutes of running on a treadmill for one month. The mice with lower selenoprotein P levels showed a higher efficiency for exercise than the mice with higher levels of the protein.
  • Next, the researchers studied women who all had sedentary lifestyles but were still in good health and asked that they undergo aerobic exercise training for a period of eight weeks. The results were similar to those associated with the mice, with the women sporting higher selenopreotein P levels receiving fewer health benefits from their exercise routine.
    • The researchers studied this by measuring the maximal oxygen consumption of the female subjects during exercise. When one’s ability to consume oxygen is elevated––as it should be during exercise––it allows the individual to take in more oxygen and to perform their exercise more efficiently.
    • The subjects with higher concentrations of selenoprotein P in their bloodstreams did not show much elevation when it came to their oxygen consumption, while those with lower concentrations were able to consume more oxygen.
    • Researchers began to refer to this effect as exercise resistance.

What Does This Mean?

As a result of these findings, it became clear to the researchers that higher selenoprotein P levels will affect one’s ability to receive the benefits of a regular exercise routine. Even if an individual with high selenoprotein P levels does exercise every day, they will not be likely to see the kinds of results that someone else would see if they had lower levels of the protein in their body because of their natural exercise resistance.

This is not because the individual isn’t working hard enough or isn’t giving it their all. The person with high levels of the protein actually can’t work out as efficiently as someone with low levels of the protein can. In a way, the body is working against the individual with higher levels of selenoprotein P, making it harder for them to gain the benefits of exercise that would come more easily to those with lower levels of the protein in their blood.

How Can This Research Be Used?

This current research does shed light on why some individuals are less affected by regular exercise than others and could possibly help us begin to understand the ways in which different people can lose weight. This knowledge could prove to be incredibly beneficial, especially in societies with high rates of sedentary lifestyles. As stated by Science Daily, this is one reason why Japanese researchers took on the project, hoping to understand the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, which has become more popular in the country in recent years.

Scientists hope that these new findings could also benefit future studies on health issues such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, and hypertension. Because these diseases are often associated with a sedentary lifestyle, it is important for scientists to be able to understand how exercise may or may not benefit certain people in these situations and how they can be treated going forward.