Epigenetics of Exercise and Sports

Epigenetics of Exercise and Sports

Concepts, Methods, and Current Research

1st Edition - July 13, 2021

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  • Editor: Stuart Raleigh
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128206829
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128209370

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Epigenetics of Exercise and Sports: Concepts, Methods, and Current Research explains fundamental epigenetic processes and how these are altered by exercise and sports. After a brief review of fundamental epigenetic biology, this all-new volume in the Translational Epigenetics series offers step-by-step instruction in how epigenetic factors are investigated for their influence over exercise related traits of human physiology, disease, and injury. The current state of knowledge in the field and recent findings are discussed in-depth, illuminating how exercise and sports performance may epigenetically modify our physiology, disease and injury risks, and how this knowledge can be applied in personalized exercise approaches, diagnostics, and treatment. This book also explores the shortcomings of explaining exercise related phenomena using only genomics and traditional biochemical techniques, setting the scene for a paradigm shift in exercise biology. In addition, over a dozen international specialists contribute chapters on exercise and sports epigenetics, and their influence over metabolism, obesity, aging, immunity, and neurological disease, as well as the epigenetic impacts of concussions and sports doping. A concluding chapter discusses ongoing themes in the field and outlooks for future research.

Key Features

  • Thoroughly examines fundamental concepts in exercise and sports epigenetics, methods for new research, and known impacts for human physiology, disease, and clinical outcomes
  • Discusses exercise and sports epigenetics in relation to metabolism, obesity, aging, immunity, and neurological disease, concussion, and sports doping, among other topics
  • Includes preliminary information on exercise epigenetics and covid-19 infection
  • Features chapter contributions from international experts in the field


Human geneticists; human genomicists; translational researchers in genomic medicine, epigenetics, physiology, aging, biochemistry, sports medicine and exercise sciences, molecular biology; life science researchers; immunologists, oncologists; bioengineers; developmental biologists, physiologists

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • A note on how to use this book
  • Section I: Concepts and methods
  • Chapter 1: Exercise and sport: Definitions, classifications, and relevance to population health
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Defining physical activity and population categories
  • What are the physical activity guidelines, and are we meeting them?
  • Physiological implications of physical activity and inactivity
  • Exercise intensity domains
  • Exercise at the extremes
  • Individual responses to diet and exercise
  • Chapter 2: Epigenetic processes—An overview
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • DNA methylation
  • CpG islands
  • DNA methylation and gene imprinting
  • Histone modification
  • Noncoding RNAs
  • Epigenetic-based therapies
  • RNA methylation
  • Epigenetic interactions, networks, and emergent properties
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 3: Methods to study exercise and sports epigenetics
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgement
  • Introduction
  • Ethical considerations and sample collections
  • DNA methylation
  • Chip-Seq
  • Noncoding RNAs
  • Conclusion
  • Section II: Current research and future perspectives
  • Chapter 4: Nutrients, metabolism, and epigenetic change
  • Abstract
  • Diet and nutri-epigenomics
  • What is DNA methylation?
  • Fatty acids and epigenetics
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: Obesity epigenetics and exercise
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Role of epigenetics in syndromic and monogenic obesity
  • Maternal and paternal impact on obesity predisposition in their children and beyond
  • Can epigenetic-mediated obesity predisposition change during adulthood?
  • Could epigenetic treatments help tackle the obesity pandemic?
  • Final conclusions
  • Chapter 6: Epigenetic change and different types of exercise
  • Abstract
  • Exercise
  • Epigenetic modifications
  • Exercise-induced DNA methylation
  • Exercise-induced histone modifications
  • Exercise-induced noncoding RNAs
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7: Exercise, epigenetics, and aging
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Aging defined
  • Benefits of physical activity
  • Aging and epigenetics
  • Exercise and the epigenetic response
  • Exercise and DNA methylation
  • Exercise and histone modifications
  • Exercise and MicroRNA
  • Exercise, epigenetics, and cancer
  • Exercise, epigenetics, and inflammation
  • Exercise epigenetics and cardiovascular diseases
  • Exercise, epigenetics, and neurological disorders
  • Exercise, metabolism, and epigenetics
  • Telomere biology
  • Telomerase
  • Mean leukocyte telomere length
  • Aging-telomere link
  • Telomeres, aging, and mortality
  • Telomeres and senescence
  • Telomeres and age-related diseases
  • Physical activity and telomere length
  • Proposed benefits of physical activity on telomere homeostasis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Inflammation
  • The Shelterin complex
  • Epigenetics and telomere homeostasis
  • Epigenome, exercise training, and trans-generational inheritance
  • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Epigenetics, exercise, and the immune system
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction to epigenetics
  • Overview of immunity and exercise
  • Immune system epigenetic modifications via physical activity and exercise
  • MicroRNA regulation of immune cells in aerobic exercise
  • Exercise as a putative modifier of cancer pathogenesis
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 9: Alzheimer’s disease, epigenetics, and exercise
  • Abstract
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Exercise and memory
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of exercise-induced neurogenesis
  • Genetic considerations
  • Transgenerational effects
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 10: The current and future state of sports genomics
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Overview of sports genomics
  • Candidate gene studies
  • Genome-wide association studies and next-generation sequencing
  • Consortia studies
  • Limitations and future directions
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 11: Epigenetic regulation and musculoskeletal injuries
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Epigenetic risk factors underlying musculoskeletal injuries
  • Clinical implications of epigenetic testing for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries
  • Concluding remarks
  • Chapter 12: Sports concussion and epigenetics
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Definition of concussion
  • Diagnosis of concussion
  • Short-term consequences of concussion
  • Long-term consequences of concussion
  • Genetics of concussion
  • Epigenetics
  • Epigenetics of TBI
  • Epigenetics of concussion
  • Epigenetic pattern profiling as a biomarker to aid concussion diagnosis
  • Epigenetic pattern profiling as a biomarker for short-term outcomes following concussion
  • Conclusions and future directions
  • Chapter 13: Epigenetics and doping in sports—The role of microRNAs
  • Abstract
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Novel epigenetic markers: miRNAs
  • MicroRNAs for detection of doping abuse
  • MicroRNAs as potential markers of autologous blood transfusion in sports
  • Confounding factors
  • Conclusions and perspectives
  • Chapter 14: Future perspectives and concluding remarks
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Future avenues for research
  • Closing remarks
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 320
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2021
  • Published: July 13, 2021
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128206829
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128209370

About the Editor

Stuart Raleigh

Stuart M Raleigh, BSc, FIBMS, PhD is an Associate Professor in Exercise Biochemistry and Epigenetics at Coventry University. His research interests focus on epigenetics, genetics, and biochemical mechanisms of chronic disease. He has a special interest in identifying epigenetic factors that influence the risk of musculoskeletal soft tissue pathologies and he is also exploring the link between miRNA expression and various exercise related traits. Dr. Raleigh led the University of Northampton’s Centre for Physical Activity and Chronic Disease (PACD) from 2014-2018 and he has extensive international research collaborations. His teaching interests focus on Alzheimer’s disease and multifactorial genetics. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and Section Editor (Genetics theme) for the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor in Exercise Biochemistry and Epigenetics, Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Science, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, UK

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