Adrenaline Is the Key to How Exercise Reduces Cancer Risk

Exercise reduces the risk of several kinds of cancer, but scientists do not understand why. An interesting study on mice from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark might explain the mechanism. Exercise reduced the risk of cancer by 60 percent in animals with five different kinds of tumors. Exercising animals receiving implants of melanoma skin cancer cells were less likely to develop full-blown cancer than sedentary animals. Exercise increases adrenaline, natural killer cells and interleukin-6, which combined to become potent cancer fighters. The researchers speculated that adrenaline acts as a signal to interleukin-6, which turns on the natural killer cells that fight the cancer. It is not known whether these results apply to humans. (Cell Metabolism. 23: 554-562, 2016)

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