Biohumoral Indicators Influenced by Physical Activity in the Elderly

J Clin Med. 2020 Apr 13;9(4):1115. doi: 10.3390/jcm9041115.


In the scientific landscape, there is a growing interest in defining the role of several biomolecules and humoral indicators of the aging process and in the modifications of these biomarkers induced by physical activity and exercise. The main aim of the present narrative review is to collect the available evidence on the biohumoral indicators that could be modified by physical activity (PA) in the elderly. Online databases including Pubmed, Web of science (Medline), and Scopus were searched for relevant articles published in the last five years in English. Keywords and combination of these used for the search were the following: "biological", "indicators", "markers", "physical", "activity", and "elderly". Thirty-four papers were analyzed for inclusion. Twenty-nine studies were included and divided into four categories: cardiovascular (CV) biomarkers, metabolic biomarkers, inflammatory markers-oxidative stress molecules, and other markers. There are many distinct biomarkers influenced by PA in the elderly, with promising results concerning the metabolic and CV indexes, as a growing number of studies demonstrate the role of PA on improving parameters related to heart function and CV risk like atherogenic lipid profile. Furthermore, it is also a verified hypothesis that PA is able to modify the inflammatory status of the subject by decreasing the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). PA seems also to be able to have a direct effect on the immune system. There is a strong evidence of a positive effect of PA on the health of elderly people that could be evidenced and "quantified" by the modifications of the levels of several biohumoral indicators.

Keywords: biomarkers; diabetes; elderly; hypertension; noncommunicable diseases; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review