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Reason why exercise lowers breast cancer risk discovered

Summary

Scientists appear to have found out just why exercise lowers the risk of breast cancer so greatly, healthland.time.com reports.

Our Solution

Scientists appear to have found out just why exercise lowers the risk of breast cancer so greatly, healthland.time.com reports. Exercise has long been associated with helping men and women lower their risk of developing cancer, or to have a better chance of beating the disease if it develops. Furthermore, this was especially seen to be the case with breast cancer, as women who exercised regularly were significantly less likely to develop it in their lifetimes. Now, researchers looking into the trend appear to have found out exactly why this is the case, with the result being attributable to women's so-called "oestrogen metabolism". It is thought that aerobic exercise impacts the way in which womens' bodies break down oestrogens in order to produce "good" metabolites - which then go on to lower the overall risk of developing breast cancer. Following on from research of women who underwent physical exercise, researchers found that not only were the overall BMI levels and cardiovascular sustainability figures much healthier, but so too were the metabolite ratio 2-OHE1/16-alpha-OHE1. As the latter (16-alpha-OHE1) is thought to encourage cancer cell growth, a lower ratio of this is thought to lower the chance of contracting the disease. This could prompt many women - especially those who have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer - to consider upping their cardiovascular fitness levels, potentially in a garden gym. "Exercise, known to favour fitness and improve heart health, is also likely to help prevent breast cancer by altering oestrogen metabolism," researcher Mindy Kurzer told newstrackindia.com. "Ours is the first study to show that aerobic exercise influences the way our bodies break down oestrogens to produce more of the 'good' metabolites that lower breast cancer risk."

Author:

David Howells

8th May 2013