How to reduce cancer deaths
*Pears, soybeans, green peas, red grapes, mushrooms, lentils prevent colon tumour
*Aspirin cuts risk of several types by up to half by blocking enzymes that help growth
*Strength exercises lower occurrence but jogging doesn’t, new research shows
Colon cancer, Crohn’s, and other gut diseases could be better treated or prevented, thanks to a new link between inflammation and a common cellular process, found by University of Warwick.
Autophagy – an essential process whereby cells break down and recycle harmful elements to keep our bodies healthy – causes tissue inflammation when dysfunctional, which in turn leaves us susceptible to diseases, particularly in the gut.
Foods such as pomegranates, red grapes, pears, mushrooms, lentils, soybeans and green peas contain natural compounds, which can activate autophagy, helping to prevent inflammation and gut diseases.
New link could lead to more effective treatments for diseases – giving healthcare professionals ability to target root cause of disease, by regulating autophagy.
Led by Dr. Ioannis Nezis at Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, new research demonstrates that autophagy – an essential process whereby cells break down and recycle harmful or damaged elements within themselves to keep our bodies healthy – causes tissue inflammation when dysfunctional, which in turn leaves us susceptible to harmful diseases, particularly in the gut.
Understanding this link could lead to more effective treatments for gut diseases – such as colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – giving healthcare professionals the ability to target the root cause of these diseases, by regulating and controlling autophagy.
In a new paper published in Nature Communications, Nezis and colleagues have identified – for the first time – a protein, which is regulated by autophagy. Called Kenny, the protein contains a motif of amino acids that causes it to be broken down by autophagy. When autophagy is dysfunctional, Kenny accumulates and causes inflammation.
Also, a new study has revealed that strengthening exercises such as press ups and sit ups prevent cancer in a way that jogging does not. Researchers, who studied more than 80,000 people in the United Kingdom (UK), said that strengthening workouts reduced the risk of death by cancer while aerobic exercise did not.
The study revealed that people who did strength-based exercises reduced their risk of death by nearly a quarter overall and death by cancer by 31 percent, but aerobic exercise had almost no impact on cancer death rates.
Lead author Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney said: “The study shows exercise that promotes muscular strength may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling.
“And assuming our findings reflect cause and effect relationships, it may be even more vital when it comes to reducing risk of death from cancer.”The research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology is based on a population sample drawn from the Health Survey for England and Scottish Health Survey and the National Health Service (NHS) Central Mortality Register.
It is the largest study to compare the mortality outcomes of different types of exercise.Strengthening exercise was known to improve function with age, but its affects on mortality had not yet been examined.
To reduce your risk of dying of any cause, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults between 18 and 64:
*Do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise a week
*OR at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week
*Do aerobic exercises in sets lasting at least 10 minutes
*Do strength exercises – involving ‘two or more major muscle groups’ – at least twice a week
*Strength exercises can be done with or without weights
The World Health Organisation recommends two days of muscle exercises each week as well as 150 minutes of aerobic work out. The study concluded that following the WHO’s strength-promoting exercise guideline alone was associated with reduced risk of cancer-related death, but adherence to the WHO’s aerobic physical activity guideline alone was not.
However strength exercise alone had no effect on death from heart disease.The best strategy to reduce death from any cause, according to the study’s findings, is to follow the WHO’s guidelines for both strength and aerobic exercises.
Meanwhile, taking aspirin regularly could help beat several types of cancer, a major study has found.A trial involving more than half a million people found long-term aspirin users cut their risk of liver and oesophageal cancer by almost half, while their odds of getting bowel cancer fell by a quarter.
Aspirin, already known to protect against heart attacks and strokes, is thought to block enzymes which help cancer tumours to grow.The cheap drug was also found to reduce people’s chances of getting leukaemia, lung and prostate cancer, although experts warn it may work less well for women and can cause ulcers and bleeding.
The research, to be presented at the United European Gastroenterology conference in Barcelona this week, compared the incidence of cancer among more than 400,000 non-aspirin users and more than 200,000 people who had been prescribed the drug for at least six months.
The aspirin users had on average been taking the tablets for more than seven and a half years.Almost one in six of the patients got cancer, but those taking aspirin regularly were 47 per cent less likely to have been diagnosed with cancers of the liver or oesophagus. Experts also found significant reductions in the rate of stomach cancer (38 per cent), pancreatic cancer (34 per cent) and bowel cancer (24 per cent).
Aspirin, which has the side effect of thinning the blood, is believed to block the pathways of ‘COX2’ enzymes in the body. The molecules, which also cause pain and fever, appear to help the body generate the blood vessels needed to support the fast growth and spread of cancerous tumours. They may also help cancer cells multiply and stop the body’s natural defence mechanism which battles cancer by making cancerous cells ‘commit suicide’.
The Hong Kong study also found aspirin users were 14 per cent less likely to have developed prostate cancer, 24 per cent less likely to have leukaemia and more than a third less at risk of lung cancer.The authors did not find a protective effect for breast, bladder or kidney cancers.
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