01. April 2016 · Comments Off on Exercise May Fight Cancer · Categories: Health, Physical Fitness

New Study Concludes Exercise May Fight Cancer

We can all agree that exercise is good for everyone. From fighting diabetes, to just making a person feel stronger and better, there are many reasons to exercise on a regular basis to have a better life. Now there is reason to believe that exercise may fight cancer.

A new study published recently in Cell Metabolism shows a link between exercise and a reduction of cancer risk. Scientists looked at the connection between increased adrenaline and certain immune cells produced during exercise that linger after the workout, and a lower incidence of cancer in mice at high risk. They also looked at the reduced cancer growth in mice that had cancer. Take a look at the discussion of this study from the New York Times.

The relationship between exercise and cancer has long both intrigued and puzzled oncologists and exercise physiologists.

Exercise is strongly associated with lowered risks for many types of cancer. In epidemiological studies, people who regularly exercise generally prove to be much less likely to develop or die from the disease than people who do not.

At the same time, exercise involves biological stress, which typically leads to a short-term increase in inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can contribute to elevated risks for many cancers.

Now, a new study in mice may offer some clues into the exercise-cancer paradox. It suggests that exercise may change how the immune system deals with cancer by boosting adrenaline, certain immune cells and other chemicals that, together, can reduce the severity of cancer or fight it off altogether.

With these results, “we show that voluntary wheel running in mice can reduce the growth of tumors, and we have identified an exercise-dependent mobilization of natural killer cells as the underlying cause of this protection,” said Pernille Hojman, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen who oversaw the new study.

But mice, obviously, are not people, and it is impossible to know from this study whether a similar process occurs in humans, although exercise, particularly moderately intense exercise such as jogging, has been shown to increase adrenaline and the production of natural killer immune cells in people, Dr. Hojman said.

“So the mechanisms,” she said, that seemed to partially protect the running mice in this study from malignancies, “can also happen in people,” perhaps providing one more incentive, if we still need it, to get up and move. – via Well

More Connections Showing That Exercise May Fight Cancer

There have been many studies done in recent years on the role between physical activity and cancer prevention. Here is a discussion from Dr. Mercola about the many ways in which exercise can help to prevent or fight cancer and improve our lives. Take a look and be inspired to get some exercise today and often.

Compelling evidence suggests exercise is an important component of cancer prevention and care; slashing your risk of developing cancer, improving your chances of successful recuperation, and diminishing your risk of cancer recurrence.

A pattern revealed in these studies is that the longer you exercise, the more pronounced the benefits. Studies show that both men and women who exercise during their early years have a lower risk of cancer later in life. But like most things in life, exercise must also be done in moderation and be balanced. There is a sweet spot and excessive exercise can cause its own set of issues, but most in the U.S. are far from being at risk for this problem…

…Exercise Is Potent Cancer Prevention

While the exact risk reduction varies from study to study, the literature consistently show that exercise helps reduce your risk of a variety of different cancers, and often to a significant degree.

Should you end up with cancer, don’t fall for the old myth that rest is the best medicine. On the contrary, exercise has been shown to significantly boost your chances of recovery and survival.

For example, a 2005 Harvard study found that breast cancer patients who exercised moderately for three to five hours a week lowered their odds of dying from cancer by about half, compared to sedentary patients. In fact, any amount of weekly exercise increased a patient's odds of surviving breast cancer to some degree, and this benefit remained constant regardless of whether women were diagnosed early on or after their cancer had spread.

Exercise has also been shown to minimize the side effects of conventional cancer therapy, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life.

A recent analysis of 16 studies found that across the board, cancer patients assigned to an exercise program consistently report significantly better quality of life compared to those in the non-exercising control groups, including higher self-esteem and physical functioning, less fatigue, reduced length of hospital stays, and fewer doctor’s visits.

Exercise Combats Cancer in Many Ways

Exploring the relationship between exercise and cancer, a study in the British Medical Journal found that exercise affects several biological functions that may directly influence your cancer risk, including changes in energy balance, immune function, antioxidant defense, DNA repair, and hormone levels.

Indeed, there’s not just one mechanism responsible for its cancer-fighting effects. There are many, starting with the fact that exercise decreases your insulin resistance, which is a profoundly effective strategy to reduce your cancer risk.

By creating a low sugar environment, you strongly discourage the growth and spread of cancer cells. This is also one of the reasons why a high-fat diet  tends to discourage cancer.

A key point to remember is that while normal cells can use either glucose or ketones derived from fat as fuel, cancerous cells lack this metabolic flexibility and need glucose to survive and multiply.

Cut off their supply of fuel, and you effectively starve the cancer cells to death. Exercise, by lowering your blood sugar levels and normalizing your insulin sensitivity, has a similar effect — it essentially creates an environment that is less conducive to cancer growth. – via Mercola.com

Do you have a regular exercise routine? If you could reduce your cancer risk by exercising a few minutes a day, a few times a week would you do it?

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