A direct quote from the study, by author Helene Rudqvist, says “Our research shows that exercise affects the production of several molecules and metabolites that activate cancer-fighting immune cells and thereby inhibit cancer growth.”
The study involved 26 different types of cancer and there were 1.44 million participants with an average age of 59. Fifty-seven percent were women. Participants who had a “High” level of physical activity were associated with lower risks of 13 types of cancer. Those 13 types of cancer were kidney, gastric cardia, endometrial, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, colon, head and neck, rectal, bladder, and breast cancer.
The conclusion of the study states: “Leisure-time physical activity was associated with lower risks of many cancer types.”
The effects of exercise have been well documented and shown a high correlation to lower heart disease and many causes of mortality.1
It should not surprise any of us that eating a healthy diet and exercising three to five times a week where we challenge our heart, that these two things can have wonderful benefits in our health.
Other results of the study show that physical activity leads to an immune cell named cytotoxic T cell or also known as “killer T cells.” In an article written by Rich Hardy in Health & Wellbeing, Mr. Hardy says “…these are the body’s cancer-killing agents.” Mr. Hardy further writes of one experiment where these T cells were transferred from mice who had gone through physical exercise to “untrained mice” which saw improved tumor decreases.
The researchers found that there was an increased production of metabolites
produced by the muscles when involved in exercise which was released into the bloodstream. And in a direct quote, they state “These metabolites subsequently were found to significantly influence T cell activity.”
We all need to heed what our parents told us by eating our vegetables and getting plenty of exercise. But really, there may not be a cure for cancer yet, but following good practices, we can decrease our odds of getting certain types of cancer.
1 – Arem H, Moore SC, Patel A, et al. Leisure-time physical activity and mortality: a detailed pooled analysis of the dose-response relationship. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(6):959-967.