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Exercising after COVID-19 vaccine may boost antibody response ─Study

COVID-19 Vaccination

*Health experts say there are significant benefits associated with being more physically active

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

A fresh study conducted by researchers from Iowa State University, in the United States (US) explored how staying active can benefit consumers after getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.

The researchers’ findings indicated that consumers, who exercised within the first hour of receiving a vaccine are more likely to get a boost of antibodies that was not seen in more sedentary vaccine recipients.

Senior citizens exercise

Marian Kohut, one of the researchers, said: “Our preliminary results are the first to demonstrate a specific amount of time can enhance the body’s antibody response to the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine and two vaccines for influenza.”

In exploring the benefits of staying active for the study, the experts conducted two trials – one on humans and one on mice. In the human-based study, a group of participants walked or cycled on a stationary bike for 90 minutes after receiving one of three vaccines: the COVID-19 vaccine, the seasonal flu shot, and the H1N1 flu shot.

The team then tracked the participants’ antibody response for the first four weeks after receiving their shot and compared the outcomes with those who had received the vaccines but had not exercised, agency report stated.

Ultimately, exercise proved to be beneficial for the participants, and the researchers discovered that those who exercised after getting their shot had higher levels of antibodies through the four weeks.

The team modelled a similar study on mice in which subjects ran on a treadmill after receiving a vaccine.

The results held up in the mice trial, indicating that exercise had a positive effect on the antibody response.

However, this correlation between exercise and antibodies wasn’t consistent when the participants’ workouts were shorter. Compared to the 90-minute exercise, working out for even half as long wasn’t effective at producing the same boost in antibody levels.

The researchers want to better understand why exercise has such a powerful effect on antibody response after a vaccine.

They hypothesise that physical activity helps improve blood flow, which allows immune cells to circulate better throughout the body.

Nevertheless, they explained that many factors can come into play.

Kohut also said: “… a lot more research is needed to answer the why and how. There are so many changes that take place when we exercise – metabolic, biochemical, neuroendocrine, circulatory.

“So, there’s probably a combination of factors that contribute to the antibody response we found in our study.”

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