LONDON (UPI) — A study conducted by British researchers found vigorous daily exercise could repair damage caused by a heart attack.
A team of scientists from Liverpool John Moores University conducted the early-stage study on healthy rats, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
The rats were exercised for an equivalent of 30 minutes of running or bicycling a day.
Researchers found after two weeks of exercise, the rats had a 7 percent increase in the number of cardiomyocites, the “beating” cells in heart tissue.
The team is set to study the effects on mice that have suffered heart attacks to determine whether exercise could have an even greater benefit.
“The exercise is increasing the growth factors which are activating the stem cells to go on and repair the heart, and this is the first time that this potential has been shown,” said head researcher Dr. Georgina Ellison. “We hope it might be even more effective in damaged hearts because you have got more reason to replace the large amount of cells that are lost.”