The day before his presentation on physical activity and cancer prevention, AICR grantee Henry Thompson, PhD, of Colorado State University shared his thoughts about what makes the AICR Research Conference unique, and how meetings like ours can spark new ways of scientific thinking.
Here’s what the science shows: physical activity reduces cancer risk independent of body weight. So, what’s going on, asked Henry Thompson, PhD, a researcher at Colorado State University.
Dr. Thompson spoke energetically about the possible compounds that may be released when muscles contract and the effects of these compounds on cancer development.
One of the more interesting findings: more is not necessarily better. Extrapolating from his lab’s animal studies, if you were to use the health recommendation of 30 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity, there was definite protection in the 50-60 minute range. When they went much above that, said Dr. Thompson, they saw a loss of some of that activity.
Even with all its benefits, Dr. Thompson reminded us that physical activity is a “stress” on the body. And to reinforce just how challenging this research area is, he points out that even rats and mice react differently to stress.
AICR’s ScienceNow recently conducted a Q&A with Dr. Thompson.
And to see how much activity you need according to the federal guidelines, look here.
Barbara J. Rolls, PhD is a Penn State researcher whose work studying the factors that influence how much people eat — and why — helped shape the development of AICR’s New American Plate.
She spoke to us briefly about the AICR Conference session called “From Policy to Action in Cancer Prevention.” (She also had some nice things to say about AICR.)