Make your home page

Enzyme concentration may decrease endurance, new research suggests

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Smaller amounts of a certain enzyme are associated with the ability to run longer and farther, according to a new study conducted in mice.

The enzyme called prolyl hydroxylase 3, or PHD3, senses how many nutrients the body has available at any given time. It’s also key in helping the muscles perform exercise.

Scientists found a higher concentration of circulating PHD3 was linked to decreased endurance. But when the enzyme was blocked, mice were able to run 40% longer and 50% farther. 

“Our results suggest that PHD3 inhibition in the whole body or skeletal muscle is beneficial for fitness in terms of endurance exercise capacity, running time and running distance,” wrote Harvard Medical School study authors in a news release

Understanding this mechanism and how cells metabolize energy and fuels may have important implications in the field of exercise physiology, they added. 

News 8’s medical reporter, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Gillis, D.Ed., is a classically trained medical physiologist and biobehavioral research scientist. She has been a health, medical and science reporter for over 5 years. Her work has been featured in national media outlets. You can follow her on Instagram @reportergillis and Facebook @DrMaryGillis.