Exercise May Decrease Cancer Incidences, Rate Of Tumor Growth

While exercise can help prevent health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it may also decrease instances of cancer and slow the growth rate of tumors.

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, mice that trained regularly on a wheel experienced a reduction in the growth of cancerous skin, liver and lung tumors. Mice that exercised frequently also had a smaller chance of developing cancer.

Researchers claimed that the positive effects of exercise also extended to cancer-associated weight loss known as cachexia. Cachexia - a weakening of the body due to chronic illness - was not experienced by the mice in the exercise group.

Effects of exercise

Researchers believe they have discovered the factors behind the anti-tumor effects of regular exercise. They claim that adrenaline - a hormone critical to the fight-or-flight response - is produced by the stimulation of exercise.

The study puts forth that the production of adrenaline causes immune cells to assemble. One specific immune cell, called the Natural Killer (NK), safeguards the body by attacking the site of tumors. After infiltrating the tumor, NK can slow down or completely prevent its growth.

Researchers concluded the study by emphasizing not only the positive health benefits of daily exercise, but also the utilization of NK cells as a possible strategy for slowing the growth of multiple tumors.

Source: American Society for Cell Biology

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