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High Intensity Exercise Associated With Reduction in Colon Cancer Cells

Previous research has suggested that physical activity is associated with significant reductions in colorectal cancer mortality. A new study has found that high intensity interval training may help reduce the growth of colon cancer cells.


Twenty colorectal cancer survivors participated in the study. Half of them performed acute exercise regimens and half performed chronic exercise regimens. The acute regimen consisted of 16 minutes of high intensity exercise. Blood samples were collected at baseline and at 0 and 120 minutes post exercise. The chronic regimen consisted of 12 exercise sessions over 4 weeks. Blood samples were collected at baseline and after 4 weeks.


When the researchers analyzed the blood samples, they found that samples obtained immediately following exercise showed a significant reduction in the number of colon cancer cells. No significant difference was seen 120 minutes after exercise completion. The researchers posit that these results could mean that repetitive high intensity exercise may help reduce colon cancer cells in the long term.


In addition, significant increases were seen in serum interleukin-6, interleukin-8 and tumor necrosis factor- ? immediately after exercise. These are all markers of inflammation, and may be involved in reducing the number of cancer cells.


The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia and the University of Waterloo, Ontario. It was published online ahead of print February 27, 2019 in The Journal of Physiology.

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