Statistics from the American Cancer Society has shown that in the year 2019 over 100,000 people will be diagnosed with new cases of cancer of the colon and over 44000 people with rectal cancer. Furthermore, researchers have also predicted that over 50,000 people will die due to colorectal cancer. The primary methods that have been used in the treatment of colorectal cancer include treatment based on drugs, localized and systemic therapies. However, a new study has been conducted and published in The Journal of Physiology; it was found that after a session of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) the growth rate of colon cancer cells was significantly reduced. The University of Queensland together with the University of Waterloo, Ontario carried out this study that involved survivors of colorectal cancer. Blood samples were collected from the subjects either after they had completed the HIIT workout or during the period of rest after the subjects had completed their 12 sessions of HIIT over 4 weeks. The blood serum from the subjects was then analyzed for the rate of growth of cells causing colon cancer. The lead author of this research was James Devin, and he reported that their findings had provided proof that exercise plays a role in preventing the growth of cells that cause colon cancer. Also, it was found that there was an increase in inflammation after a subject had completed a HIIT workout and this was hypothesized to play a role in reducing cancer cells. The scientists carrying out this research also found that there was a significant increase in particular cytokines. This increase was found in signaling proteins that help modulate the immune system of the body and inflammatory responses. The cytokines under question include the following: the tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-8, and interleukin-6. James Devin suggests that the effects of HIIT workout and the increase in cytokine could play a crucial role in slowing down the progression of colon cancer cells. However, it is vital to note that the methods the scientists used to study colon cancer in the lab are different from how the cells grow and multiply in the human body.
James Devin pointed out that more research has to be carried out on the relationship between human colorectal tumors and HIIT. Devin also added that the next step for the research team is to evaluate how the changes in growth take place and how cell growth could be impacted by bio-markers in the blood. High-Intensity Interval Training is a cardiovascular exercise plan that involves intense anaerobic workout over a short period and recovery periods that are less intense. There is no standard duration for a HIIT session, but most workouts may last up to 30 minutes. However, the duration may vary depending on the fitness level of the participant. Exercise has been mainly focused on the general physical outlook after training, but the new research has shown that HIIT exercise can be as beneficial to the health and wellness of individuals. The study has also shown that leading a physically active lifestyle might be a crucial weapon in the arsenal of fighting colorectal tumors.