Fitness Factoids: Volume 77

Exercise Boosts Tumor Shrinking Effects of Chemotherapy

Although a recent report from The American Cancer Society indicates that they expect the rates of death from cancer to fall in 2014, it’s still estimated that nearly 586,000 deaths will occur in the United States this year from all forms of cancer. Chemotherapy drugs are one of the primary means of treatment for fighting cancer, but damaging side effects of the drugs often times bring unexpected consequences such as increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease. But new researcher from the University of Pennsylvania have found that engaging in an exercise program prior to, and during chemotherapy treatment, appears to actually increase the rate of shrinkage in tumor cells, and provide mild protective benefits to the heart. Researchers note that although the mouse model study seems promising, further research is needed to determine if the tumor shrinking effects of exercise can be repeated in humans.



Report Indicates the Need For Exercise During Middle Age

It’s not exactly a well-guarded secret that exercise such as resistance training has a number of positive benefits associated with longevity. Resistance training has been show to decrease rates of osteoarthritis as we age, allow us to maintain higher levels of muscle mass later in life, and reduce the risk of developing diseases such as hypertension and type-2 diabetes. However, although we know how beneficial training can be, not enough middle aged Americans are doing it. A new study conducted by Arizona State University that was published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease determined that not nearly enough middle aged adults are exercising, and as a result the health of our aging population has precipitously declined. Maintaining our training while we age is an absolutely crticial component to the equation of determining exactly what sort of quality of life we’re going to have during our golden years.



Chokeberries Strengthen Pancreatic Cancer Drug

Never heard of chokeberries? Don’t feel bad. According to Wikipedia they’re a wild berry that’s indigenous to the Eastern part of the United States, however, according to researchers at King’s College Hospital they could be the answer science has been searching for in their effort to find an effective means of treatment for pancreatic cancer. Recent estimates indicate that nearly 95% of pancreatic cancer diagnoses end in death, making it the deadliest form of commonly known cancers. Typically treatment for pancreatic cancer consists of chemotherapy drugs, but often times the drugs do little more than prolong lifespan for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. According to a new study published in the Journal of Pathology, chokeberry extract combined with chemotherapy drugs appears to significantly boost the effectiveness of the treatment, and increase rates on cancer cell death, also known as apoptosis. The results came as a complete shock to researchers when they found that chokeberries appear to have a “super-additive effect” on the chemo drugs, and allowed researchers to use less of the drug causing lower toxicity while actually increasing the effectiveness of the treatment. Furtherer tests will now need to be conducted to determine if the results can be replicated, and if the chokeberries are able to impact their benefit on other forms of cancer.



Magnesium Could Reduce Inflammation

Chronic magnesiuminflammation is considered one of the hallmarks of a diseased state in the body, and systemically high levels of inflammation for prolonged periods of time have been linked to a whole host of chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, hypertension, CVD, and Alzheimer’s. Excessively high blood sugars due to cells becoming insulin resistant leads to the formation of substances known as advanced glycation end products that can cause inflammation as they accumulate in tissues over time. However a new study found online at the Archives of Medical Research shows that prediabetic individuals – who have blood sugar regulation issues – who supplement with magnesium have reduced levels of an inflammatory marker known as C-reactive protein (CRP). The study showed that when prediabetic individuals supplemented with 382mg magnesium they had reduced CRP levels, and lower levels of both fasted and post-prandial (fed) blood glucose levels. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, and is plays a role in a variety of functions. Researchers are speculative about whether or not it was a magnesium deficiency that caused the elevated levels of CRP, or if magnesium supplementation was the cause of the CRP reduction.





Cancer Risks Elevated for Prediabetics

The precipitoprediabetesus rise in the number of cases of diabetes has been accompanied by a disturbing trend in rising cases of heart disease, hypertension, and a variety of cancers. The inability to regulate blood glucose levels causes extreme levels of oxidative stress, and the accumulation of particles known as advanced glycation end products (AGE’s) in tissue. Recently China’s First People’s Hospital of Shundu conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether or not the increased incidences of cancer could be tied to people who have issues controlling their blood glucose, but aren’t quite considered to be diabetic – also known as prediabetic. After compiling data from multiple studies that contained a total of over 800,000 participants the researchers determined that being in a prediabetic state elevates the risk for developing cancer across all age groups, races, and other factors. As bodybuilders we have a unique understanding of the role that insulin plays in shaping our physique, but we should also pay close to attention to regularly spiking blood glucose for the sake of refilling glycogen stores. Our health, both in the short term and the long term, has to be the primary concern as we engage in some of the things necessary to compete at the highest levels.



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