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Mild Vibrations Can Repair Immune System Damage Caused by Obesity: Study

Update Date: Nov 30, 2012 08:59 AM EST

Here is good news for all those who want to gain benefits from exercise but are too lazy to move their bodies. A new study suggests that some low-intensity vibrations may be as beneficial as exercise for obese people.

A new research has found that in obese mice, mild vibrations led to improvements in the immune function. With the help of further research, if the same is found true for humans, this could clinically benefit obese people who suffer immune problems related to obesity.

"This study demonstrates that mechanical signals can help restore an immune system compromised by obesity," said Clinton Rubin, Ph.D., study author from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York.

"While it is well known that obesity can cripple many physiologic systems, this work suggests that mechanical signals-in the absence of drugs-can help combat this disease and its sequelae. That these mechanical signals are so brief, and so mild, is further evidence of how exquisitely tuned our body is to external signals, and that remaining active-climbing stairs at work, taking a walk at lunch, standing while reading a book-will help achieve and retain good health. Stand up!"

 For the study, a group of adult mice were made obese by feeding them a high fat diet for seven months. Once the mice became obese, the researchers noted down the damage caused to the immune and skeletal systems of the mice. A significant impairment was noted, with decreasing B- and T-cell populations in the blood, and a markedly accelerated loss of bone.

In the second phase of the experiment, the researchers divided the obese mice into two groups, and one group was subjected to daily 15-minute bouts of low-intensity vibration, barely perceptible to human touch, Medical Xpress reported.

The results of the continuous administration of vibrations showed that mice in the vibration group improved their immune and skeletal systems, bringing them back to normal functioning.

"This solid support for a shaky intervention should get scientists and health care professionals buzzing," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "If it works out in people, low intensity vibration could be a relatively cheap way of helping obese folks regain health without drugs - until they lose weight by diet and exercise."

The study was published online in The FASEB Journal.

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