New research shows that Americans need to incorporate exercise into their daily routine now more than ever before.
Not only does exercise help deter heart disease, diabetes, intestinal issues and much more but it also helps deter the biggest killer in the United States today – cancer. Oncologists and exercise physiologists are stressing the importance of exercising to ward off cancer.
What do studies show?
Exercise has been strongly connected with decreased risks for many forms 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,” according to The Times.
Scientists conducted a new study in mice.
The study gives clues into the exercise-cancer paradox. It shows that exercise may alter how the immune system tolerates with cancer by increasing adrenaline, certain immune cells and other chemicals that, together, can decrease the danger of cancer or completely push it away.
The new study was recently published in Cell Metabolism. The scientists planted melanoma skin cells into the mice. Then they gave them wheels in their cages to let them run and exercise and see what happens.
What were the results?
The study showed that the mice that exercised and ran were the ones that were not prone to develop cancer. The mice that were sedentary started developing the cancer.
Which exercising was the most helpful in warding off cancer? As one might of guessed, running was considered to be the most helpful. Researchers found much higher numbers of interleukin in the bloodstreams of runners than in the sedentary mice. Interleukin is said to help the immune system and lower cancer risk.
In the mice who ran, a greater number of natural killer cells were guided to tumors in the runners, letting their their immune systems, to more effectively fight the cancer.
Pernille Hojman, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen who oversaw the new study, commented on the results. Dr. Hojman said, “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.”
Dr. Hojman said the next step will be translating these findings to human bodies. She said the mechanisms can be translated to humans and should give them another reason to ‘get up and move’.