A new study has found that the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer can be reduced through regular exercise. The researchers found that regular exercise could reduce the risk of breast, colon, and lung cancer, based on their study that included 1.4 million people.
Furthermore, the more hours you spend exercising the greater the reduction of your cancer risk. Lead author Steven Moore explained, “The more activity, the more the benefit. As people did more, their risk continued to lower.”
The study found that regular exercise could reduce the risk of at least 13 different cancers, including leukemia, myeloma, and cancers of the esophagus, liver, kidney, stomach, endometrium, rectum, bladder, and head and neck.
The researchers focused on voluntary physical activity during the leisure time, separate from house chores or work, performed as a means to improve health.
The researchers pooled data on 1.4 million people from 12 U.S. and European databases. They looked at whether physical activity was associated with a risk reduction in 26 different types of cancer.
A high level of physical activity was associated with a seven percent risk reduction in total cancer. Esophagus cancer was reduced by 42 percent, while breast cancer was reduced by 10 percent. “This suggests that physical activity may have a role to play in population-wide cancer prevention efforts,” Moore said.
One of the theories as to why exercise may reduce cancer risk speculates that exercise reduces hormones that have been associated with cancer. It also helps control insulin levels and insulin-like growth factor. Those who exercise also have less inflammation, their cells undergo less oxidative stress and are more capable of repairing damaging DNA, a potential cause of cancer.
The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article on Breast cancer risk lowered with high fruit consumption in teens: Study.