Good Physical Condition Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer | Health

Good Physical Condition Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer | Health

Being in good aerobic shape could alter the internal functioning of the cells and substantially reduce the risk of having breast cancer.

A new study in female rats found that those in better physical condition were less likely to develop cancer after being exposed to a known carcinogen, even if they did not exercise.

Good Physical Condition Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer | Health

These findings offer new and promising clues about the relationship between physical condition, exercise and tumors. Most people think that good cardiovascular fitness - which in scientific terms is the ability to bring oxygen and energy to the muscles - is achieved with methodical exercise so that the more we practice aerobic routines, the better our physical condition will be.

However, maybe not everything depends on that. A large percentage of our aerobic condition, perhaps up to half according to a study, is innate. This level of genetically determined fitness varies greatly from one family to another and from one person to another. Exercise can increase it while avoiding moving and gaining weight can reduce it, but at the baseline of a person, the genetic condition is determined from birth.

In recent years, scientists have become interested in how our innate physical condition can affect general health, and also why. Many studies have established that people with very good physical condition have a lower risk of suffering a wide range of diseases, including many types of cancer. However, it has not been clear whether their protection against diseases is the result of frequent exercise, a fortunate genetic inheritance or both.


Good Physical Condition Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer | Health

In the new study, whose results were published in July in Carcinogenesis, researchers from Colorado State University, the Sloan Kettering Cancer Memorial Center in New York and the University of Michigan decided to focus on breast cancer.

Epidemiological investigations have shown that being fit is associated with a lower risk of developing this disease, but not why. Since they wanted to analyze the role of innate physical condition in the disease, the scientists turned to a famous strain of rats raised by Lauren Kock and Steven Britton of the University of Michigan.

For several generations, these rats were put to the test on treadmills. Those that ran farther before getting tired separated from the rest to mate with each other, while those that got off soon also grouped together so that they mated so that, in the end, the offspring showed a great difference in physical condition at birth.

The researchers used female offspring of mothers with a remarkably high or low aerobic capacity. These young animals did not exercise, so their physical condition depended almost exclusively on their genetics.
Good Physical Condition Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer | Health

Before the young reached puberty, they were exposed to a chemical that causes breast cancer. Then the researchers analyzed them frequently to detect palpable tumors throughout their adult stage. Also, after the animals died, they looked for signs of tumors that were too small to feel and analyzed the mammary cells under a microscope to identify different signs of cellular health.

The differences between the animals were amazing. Rats with poor physical condition were about four times more likely to develop breast cancer than those with good condition; They also presented more tumors once exposed to the disease. They also tended to get cancer earlier and developed tumors as they aged, compared to rats with better condition.

The contrasts between the two types of rats continued deep within their cells. The researchers found almost inverted relationships regarding the functioning of certain cellular aspects, particularly the one related to what is known as the mTOR network. This, the acronym for "rapamycin target in mammalian cells", is a group of intertwined proteins within a cell that perceive how much energy is available, depending on oxygen levels and other factors, and let the cell know if There is enough energy to divide and replicate.

In the rats in this study with good physical condition, the mTOR networks usually produced biochemical signals that told the cells to avoid dividing a lot, while in the rats with a bad condition the mTOR networks sent messages that usually promoted the cellular division. Unbridled cell division is a hallmark of cancer.

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