Long-term exercise has been proposed as an aid for all body illnesses. In its turn, acute endurance exercise occasionally has not been given equal attention and credit. Is it justified?
Prostate cancer is the second most incident cancer among men, right after skin cancer. It begins by a benign increase in cell proliferation and can evolve to a malignant carcinoma or not, if you’re lucky!
But…What if we could prevent this transformation? What if it was as simple as engaging in some physical activity now? Well, scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm say it is. For now, it is stated that men could benefit from 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, even if they have not been active in a regular basis their whole life. It is as simple as this: during exercise, certain molecule levels will fluctuate, which will result in an adverse environment for prostate tumor development and progression.
The proposed mechanism is based on the transient increased levels of IGFBP-1 (Insulin like growth factor binding protein 1) in the blood during exercise, which, in turn, would impair the levels of IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor 1). High blood levels of IGF-1, which has antiapoptotic activity, are associated with higher incidence and progression of prostate cancer. Also, exercise appears to have a role on EGF (Endothelial Growth Factor) levels. This molecule is associated with cell proliferation and its binding to specific receptors anticipates a bad prognosis in prostate cancer. By exercising, EGF levels would be impaired which should result in inhibition of cell growth.
So, in general, physical activity, even if not in a daily basis and besides all the exterior and psychological benefits for health, is also an internal healer? Not quite.
As noted, this effect appears to be transient and only pertinent in initial states of prostate cancer. For instance, decrease in IGF-1, when in advanced metastatic states of the disease, might be prejudicial once it confers survival advantage for the circulating cells of tumor as they fix themselves at metastatic sites.
Nevertheless, even if acute endurance exercise was considered prejudicial or at least non-beneficial before, these authors might have contributed with one more piece for medicine and one more reason to go jogging once in a while.
Rullman E, Mijwel S (2013). Rundqvist H, Augsten M, Strömberg A, . Effect of Acute Exercise on Prostate Cancer Cell Growth PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067579
Robert CT Jr (2004). IGF-1 and prostate cancer Novartis Found Symposium DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5387.199a
prostate cancer exercise treatment, how to prevent prostate cancer naturally, prostate cancer prevention, prostate cancer news 2013