Science has shown with various pieces of evidence that physical exercise is one of the best ways to prevent certain types of cancer. In addition, a healthy lifestyle associated with activity also helps to cope with some treatments for the disease. Now, research has revealed that it can also slow down metastasis.
According to a study from Tel Aviv University (Israel) published in the scientific journal Cancer Research, running can reduce cancer metastasis by up to 72%. This is supported by the data collected during 20 years of the life of 3,000 adults and tests on rodents carried out by a team of experts led by Professor Carmit Levy, from the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University.
The reason why intense physical activity is effective in slowing the spread of cancer is due to the consumption of sugar from the internal organs for energy during the activity. When running regularly, a physical adaptation occurs to extract power while exercising. In turn, this means that sugars are squeezed out and these sources that tumors need to spread and replicate in the body are reduced.
The location is key, since the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver are the areas of the body where metastases usually develop. It is precisely in these organs that scientists have detected an increase in glucose receptors during intense aerobic exercise, making it difficult for cancer cells to access the sources with which they could spread.
Competition for energy sources, fundamental
“We hypothesize that this occurs because the organs must compete for sugar resources with the muscles , which are known to burn large amounts of glucose during exercise. Consequently, if cancer develops, the fierce competition for glucose reduces the availability of energy that is critical for metastasis ,” said Professor Carmit Levy. When tumors metastasize, the organs have already processed the sugars and cannot take advantage of them.
According to the author of the study, the physical adaptation to running “has turned these organs into effective energy-consuming machines, much like muscles.” “What’s more, when a person exercises regularly, this condition becomes permanent: the tissues of the internal organs change and become similar to muscle tissue, ” explained the researcher at the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry of the University of Tel Aviv University.
For experts, there is another great news. ” We have found that exercise changes the whole body , so the cancer can’t spread and the tumor also shrinks ,” said Dr. Carmit Levy.
Running vigorously has a protective effect against metastasis
In principle, the exercise is effective among runners. ” We have not verified other types of physical activities . Running has a protective effect because the internal tissues become supermetabolic,” explained Dr. Levit in The Jerusalem Post.
In addition, they have observed that the benefits are produced in high-intensity training. That is, keeping the body moving for at least 30 minutes is required at a minimum of 75% of heart capacity or in sprint series with short walking breaks to recover the air from the effort. This is because burning sugar requires more exercise than burning fat.
The discovery can be especially applied to prevention. Dr. YftachGepner, co – author of the research and member of the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute is committed to incorporating intense physical exercise routines, especially among those with an individual or family history of several types of specific cancers. “It must be emphasized that physical exercise , with its unique metabolic and physiological effects, exhibits a higher level of cancer prevention than any drug or medical intervention to date ,” he warned.