Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Cancer Risk

Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Cancer Risk

Following recommended nutrition and physical activity guidelines for preventing cancer can reduce your risk of developing cancer by at least 10% and your risk of dying from cancer by around 25%, according to US researchers.

In the largest study to date to look at the relationship between following a set of health-related guidelines and cancer risk and mortality, the researchers measured how closely participants adhered to the American Cancer Society (ACS) cancer prevention guidelines.   These included limiting alcohol intake, making healthy dietary choices (higher intakes of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains and lower intakes of red meat, processed meats and refined grains), maintaining a healthy body weight, and taking part in regular moderate to vigorous physical activity. Participants were followed for more than 10 years to see if they developed cancer and more than 13 years to assess mortality.

After controlling for smoking, there was a modest reduction in overall cancer risk (10% for men and 19% for women) but a substantial reduction in risk (ranging from 15 to 65%) in 14 of the 25 sites they assessed.  This included cancers of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, breast, endometrium, bladder, kidney, lung, and leukemia.  The largest reductions in risk were seen for gallbladder, endometrial, liver and colon cancers, but there were some differences between men and women.

Those with the highest adherence to the guidelines also had a lower risk of dying of cancer (25% lower in men and 24% lower in women)  and a lower risk of all-cause mortality (26% lower in men and 33% lower in women).

The research, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention involved more than 476000 subjects who were participating in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a large study developed at the National Cancer Institute of the US National Institutes of Health to help improve our understanding of the relationship between diet and health.

Kohler et al (2016). Adherence to Diet and Physical Activity Cancer Prevention Guidelines and Cancer Outcomes: A Systematic Review.  Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Published OnlineFirst June 23, 2016.

Latest Research: Eat More Fibre to Age Well

Latest Research: Eat More Fibre to Age Well

If you want to live a long and healthy life then don’t cut carbs, just choose the right ones.  That’s the message from a new Australian study.

Researchers from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney studied more than 1,600 adults aged 49 years and older who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke when the study began.   They collected details of their usual food intake and followed them for 10 years to look at the development of disease and disability as they aged.  Successful aging was defined as the absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases (e.g., cancer and coronary artery disease).

Compared to those with the lowest intakes, those who had the highest intakes of fibre were 1.8 times more likely to age successfully.   On the other hand, those with the lowest fibre intakes from breads & cereals, and fruit, were less likely to age successfully.

“These findings suggest that increasing intake of fibre-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease free and fully functional”, the researchers conclude.

These findings are consistent with the results of combined analysis of research studies into wholegrain intake and mortality, published last month.   The study found that higher intakes of wholegrains were linked with lower overall mortality and lower mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Gopinath et al (2016). Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2016) doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw091

Chen et al (2016). Whole-grain intake and total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. First published May 25, 2016, doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.115.122432

Latest Research: Exercise Efficiently

Latest Research: Exercise Efficiently

If time is a barrier to exercise then this new study from Canadian researchers might appeal.

They found that 10 minutes of exercise incorporating just 1 minute of sprint intervals, was as effective for improving insulin sensitivity and cardiorespiratory fitness as doing 50 minutes of moderate intensity continuous exercise.

The exercise sessions were performed three times per week for 12 weeks in a group of overweight, sedentary men.  The sprint-interval training group did 3 x 20 seconds ‘all-out’ cycle sprints interspersed with 2 minutes of slow cycling while the moderate intensity continuous exercise group cycled for 45 minutes at a moderate pace. Both groups did a 2 minute warm-up and 3 minute cool-down at a slow pace.

Despite a five-fold lower exercise volume and time commitment, the sprint training was found to be just as effective for improving a number of health and fitness measures as the longer sessions of moderate continuous exercise, something which has also been demonstrated in previous studies. While more research is needed, and this isn’t for everyone, it may appeal to those who are time poor and are able to exercise safely at high intensities.

Note:  if you want to give this a go and haven’t done high intensity exercise before, it’s important to check with your doctor before you get started.

Source: Gillen et al (2016). Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. PLoS ONE. 11(4): e0154075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.015407

Pin It on Pinterest