Lifelong physical activity protects against colorectal cancer, said a new study of specialists from the Medical School of the University of São Paulo, together with colleagues from Harvard University (US), published in the British Journal of Cancer.
According to scientists, if a person performs moderate-intensity physical exercises every day for 60 minutes, the effect of these exercises accumulates throughout life, and in adulthood, the risk of developing progressive adenomatous polyps, which are the precursors of colorectal cancer, is reduced by 39%.
According to Leandro Rezende, one of the authors of the study, the relationship between physical activity and a reduced risk of many types of cancer has been known for a long time, but this is the first study demonstrating the combined effect of physical activity, from adolescence, on the incidence of colorectal adenoma.
According to the study, physical activity in adolescence and youth (from 12 to 22 years) reduced the risk of developing adenoma by 7% (compared with little physical activity (less than 60 minutes per day) or even its absence). Physical activity only in adulthood (from 23 to 64 years) reduces the risk by 9%. And physical activity in both adolescence and adulthood reduced the risk by 24%.
Scientists were most surprised by the fact that physical activity in both adolescence and adulthood reduces by 39% the risk of progressive adenoma, which is likely to develop into colorectal cancer.
According to researchers, physical activity reduces the risk of carcinogenesis by lowering the level of fat and insulin in the body, as well as reducing inflammation.