Exercise has been found to have a powerful impact on our overall well-being. Now, a recent study led by researchers from Tel Aviv University, Israel has found that physical exercise, aerobics in specific, can significantly reduce the risk of cancer metastasizing. The findings by Professor Carmit Levy and Dr Yftach Gepner have been published in the American Association for Cancer Research journal.

The study is a combination of observation of an animal model in which were trained under a strict exercise regimen, with data from healthy human volunteers examined before and after running

The findings showed that physical exercise can reduce the risk for some types of cancer by up to 35 per cent. Meanwhile, high-intensity aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by up to 72 per cent. It added, “Epidemiologic data from a 20-year prospective study of a large human cohort of initially cancer-free participants revealed that exercise prior to cancer initiation had a modest impact on cancer incidence in low metastatic stages but significantly reduced the likelihood of highly metastatic cancer.”

To conduct the training, female mice were chosen for their increased metabolic response to exercise.

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The researchers took samples of the internal organs of the physically fit mice. This was done before and after physical exercise, and post-injecting them with cancer. It was found that aerobic activity significantly reduced the development of metastatic tumours in several organs, like the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver.

The study also tried to further understand metabolic differences between tissues of the active and inactive mice. For this, the researchers conducted a mitochondrial activity test. The data collected indicate that exercise causes metabolic reprogramming of several organs. This creates a new microenvironment throughout the body.

The finding showed that high-intensity exercise can prevent cancer from spreading. This epidemiologic study showed that unique and significant interaction between exercise intensity and metastatic cancer development in humans. This has led the researchers to hypothesize that exercise can induce systemic changes that can protect against tumour development in humans.

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