A new study from Tel Aviv University (Israel) found that aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by 72%.
According to the researchers, whose work was published in the scientific journal Cancer Research, the intensity of aerobic exercise increases the consumption of glucose (sugar) from the internal organs, and thus reduces the availability of energy to the tumor.
Previous studies have shown that physical exercise reduces the risk of some types of cancer by up to 35 percent. This positive effect parallels the effect of exercise on other conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
In this study, the researchers added a new perspective, showing that high-intensity aerobic exercise, which derives its energy from sugar, can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by up to 72%.
“If the general message to the public thus far has been ‘Be active, be healthy’, we can now explain how aerobic activity can increase prevention of the most aggressive and metastatic form of cancer,” explain the authors.
The study combined laboratory models trained under a rigorous exercise regimen, with data from healthy human volunteers who were examined before and after running. Human data, obtained from an epidemiological study that followed 3,000 individuals for 20 years, indicated a 72 percent reduction in metastatic cancers in participants who reported regular, high-intensity aerobic activity, compared to those who did not exercise.
The animal model showed a similar result, allowing the researchers to pinpoint the mechanism behind it. They found that aerobic activity significantly reduced the development of metastatic tumors in the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver in laboratory models.
The researchers hypothesized that in both humans and model animals, this positive outcome is associated with an increased rate of exercise-induced glucose uptake.
“By examining the cells of these organs, we found an increase in the number of glucose receptors during high-intensity aerobic activity, which increases glucose consumption and turns the organs into efficient energy-consuming machines, like muscles.” It happens because organs have to compete for sugar resources with muscles, which are known to burn large amounts of glucose during physical exercise, so if cancer develops, fierce competition for glucose reduces the availability of energy necessary for metastasis,” Carmit Levy, co-responsible about searching.
In addition, the expert points out that “when a person exercises regularly, this condition becomes permanent: the tissues of the internal organs change and become similar to muscle tissue”.
He added, “We all know that sport and exercise are good for our health. Our study, looking at the internal organs, found that exercise changes the whole body, so the cancer does not spread, and the primary tumor reduces its size.” around it.
“Our results suggest that unlike fat-burning exercise, which is relatively moderate, high-intensity aerobic activity helps prevent cancer. If the optimal intensity range for fat burning is 65-70 percent of your maximum heart rate, burning sugar requires 80 -85 percent, even for short periods,” added another author, Levtak Gibner.
For example, they urge doing a one-minute brisk run followed by walking and then another quick sprint. “In the past, these types of intervals were typical of athletes’ training regimens, but today we also see them in other exercise routines, such as cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Our findings suggest that healthy individuals should also include high-intensity components in their fitness programs,” they conclude. till then.