Researchers Explain How Exercise Reduces Risk of Cancer

By Sharon Moore on March 20, 2017

You know that exercising is good for you. Research after research shows that people who exercise are generally healthier and are less likely to develop chronic illnesses, including cancer. But how does physical activity protect us from cancer? A new study sheds light on this matter.

For the first time, researchers have found that exercise produces lactate - a substance which makes muscles stiffen after exercise - as a by-product. This is recycled for helpful uses in the brain and organs. In cancer cells, that recycling is broken down. According to experts, lactate is a key driver of cancer growth and spread.

The study was carried out by researchers from University of Colorado.

Dr Inigo San Millan of the University of California, Berkeley, said ’With this paper, we open a whole new door for understanding cancer, showing for the first time that lactate is not only present, but mandatory for every step in its development.’

’We hope to sound the alarm for the research community that to stop cancer you have to stop lactate.’

Their study revealed that lactate interferes with the body’s immune response to cancer, and helps the tumour to spread. When exercising, muscles use glucose for energy. But when there isn’t enough oxygen to keep up with the amount of energy needed, the body produces lactate as a by-product.

This process therefore recycles lactate into something beneficial for the body. For instance, it becomes useful fuel for the brain, muscles, and organs.

The new findings have significant impact. The researchers note that it could lead to new exercise and dietary prescriptions for cancer patients. They also add that new diagnostic tools could be made to find a break down in the lactate recycling system, which could help doctors identify any developing form of cancer in the body.

The study was published in the journal Carcinogenesis.

Source of this article:

Ever wondered why exercise reduces the risk of CANCER? Scientists say active people are better at removing a by-product that fuels tumours 

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