Exercise benefits: new studies

This month's literature shows that exercise prevents cancers and helps to improve mental function with aging. Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia show that adults with memory impairment improve mental function after a six-month exercise program (JAMA, September 3, 2008). Another study, from Tokyo, shows that adults who exercise regularly and are active are less likely to develop a range of cancers (American Journal of Epidemiology, August 2008). The researchers followed 80,000 Japanese adults for up to ten years. Those who were more active had reduced risk for developing any type of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon, liver, pancreas or stomach.

This benefit was greatest in those who were not overweight, showing that exercising enough to control your weight is better than just exercising. Exercise lowers body fat and being overweight is associated with increased cancer risk. Furthermore, exercise can activate immune cells to hep prevent cancer. It also lowers certain sex hormones and insulin-like growth factors that can feed the growth and spread of tumors. Newsletter


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