Can Exercise Really Lower Your Cancer Risk?
Everyone knows exercise is good for you. However, the relationship between exercising and cancer prevention has been a difficult one for experts to study. Would the health gains provided by exercise outweigh the short-term inflammation that may elevate cancer risks? A new study recently published in Cell Metabolism looked at whether exercise really can stave off cancer. In this study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen looked at cancer in laboratory mice. The mice were implanted with melanoma cancer cells, then half were provided with exercise wheels to run in while the other half remained sedentary. When the runners were shown to have lower rates of developing melanoma, the researchers attempted to discover why. They found the runners had elevated levels of adrenaline, interleukine-6, and natural killer cells, all of which are shown to fight inflammation or cancer. Further tests were conduscted which blocked adrenaline production in the running mice; these mice then developed cancer at the same rate as their sedentary bretheren. Further research still needs to be done to see if this same effect occurs in humans, but this potential benefit of exercising should provide one more reason to get up and work out.