An example of a human cancer cell

The researchers found that intense aerobic exercise increases glucose consumption, which reduces the amount of energy available to the tumor.

Exercise fights cancer by increasing glucose utilization.

According to recent Tel Aviv University According to research, aerobic exercise reduces the risk of metastatic cancer by 72%. The researchers found that high levels of aerobic exercise increased glucose consumption by the internal organs and reduced the amount of energy available to the tumor.

Carmit Levy

Professor Carmit Levy. Credit: Tel Aviv University

The study was conducted by Professor Carmit Levy from the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry and Dr. Yftach Gepner from the School of Public Health and the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Prof. Levy said the new research combines the scientific knowledge of TAU’s different schools and has resulted in an important discovery that will help eliminate metastatic cancer, Israel’s leading cause of death. The study was recently published on the cover of the newspaper Cancer research.

Professor Levy and Dr. Geppner: “Studies show that exercise can reduce the risk of some types of cancer by 35 percent.” This positive effect is similar to the effect of exercise on other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. We add new insight to this study, which shows that high-intensity aerobic exercise that gets its energy from sugar can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by 72 percent. If the general message to the public so far has been ‘be active, be healthy’, we can now explain how aerobic activity can prevent the most aggressive and metastatic forms of cancer.

The study combined a rigorous exercise-trained animal model with data from healthy human volunteers who were assessed before and after running. Human data from an epidemiological study that followed 3,000 individuals for nearly 20 years indicated that participants who reported high levels of regular aerobic activity had a 72% lower risk of metastatic cancer compared to those who did not.

An animal model has shown similar results, and allows the researchers to identify the underlying mechanism. By sampling the viscera of exercising animals before and after exercise and following cancer injection, they found that aerobic exercise significantly reduced the growth of metastatic tumors in the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver. The researchers hypothesized that this beneficial effect in both humans and animal models was related to the amount of glucose consumption produced by exercise.

Professor Levy: “Our study is the first to examine the effects of exercise on internal organs such as the lungs, liver and lymph nodes. When we examine the cells of these organs, the number of glucose receptors increases during high aerobic activity – increasing glucose levels and turning the organs into efficient energy-consuming machines, like muscles.

Yftach Gepner

Dr. Yeftach Jepner. Credit: Tel Aviv University

She continued, “We hypothesize that this happens because organs known to burn more glucose during exercise have to compete with muscles for glucose resources.” As a result, if cancer develops, the intense competition for glucose reduces the energy supply that is critical for metastasis. Moreover, when a person exercises regularly, this condition becomes permanent, the tissues of the internal organs change and become similar to muscle tissue. We all know that sports and exercise are important for our health. Our internal organs research has shown that exercise changes the whole body so that the cancer does not spread and the primary tumor shrinks.

Dr. Geppner added, “Our results suggest that, in contrast to burning fat, exercise is a relatively moderate, high-intensity aerobic activity that can help prevent cancer.” If the ideal weight for burning fat is 65-70% of your maximum heart rate, burning sugar requires 80-85% – even for short periods of time. For example, a one-minute run followed by a walk, then another run. In the past, such intervals were common in most athletes’ training regimens, but today we see them in other forms of exercise such as cardio and lung rehabilitation. Our results suggest that healthy individuals should include high-intensity components in their fitness programs.

He concluded, “We believe that future research will enable personalized medicine to prevent specific cancers, where physicians will assess family history to determine the right exercise regimen.” It should be emphasized that exercise, through its unique metabolic and physiological effects, shows a higher level of cancer prevention than any drug or medical intervention.

Reference: “An Exercise-Induced Metabolic Shield Blocks Cancer Growth and Metastatic Spread in Distant Organs” by Dana Sheinboim, Shivang Parrick, Pauli Manich, Irit Markus, Sapir Dahan, Roma Parikh, Elisa Stubbs, Gali Cohen, Valentina Zemser-Werner, Rachel E. Bell, Sara Arcinigas Ruiz, Ruth Persik, Ronen Brenner, Stave Liebow, Hananya Vaknin, Gali Arad, Yariv Gerber, Lytal Keinan-Bocker, Tal Shimoni, Lior Bikovsky, Nir Goldstein, Karen Constantini, Sapir Labs, Shimonov Mordokchai, Hila Doron. , Ariel Lonescu, Tamar Ziv, Eran Nizri, Guy Choshen, Hagit Eldar-Finkelman, Yuval Tabach, Aaron Helman, Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, Neta Erez, Eran Perlson, Tamar Giger, Danny Ben-Zvi, Mehdi Khalid, Yftach Gepner, and Carmit. Levy, 15 Nov 2022; Cancer research.
doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-22-0237



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