Exercise Your Bowels! By Mrs Vera West

     I imagine that extreme anxiety and stress that goes with journalism, keeps the bowels of the boys active. But, if heavy red meat is clogging you up, it needs to be considered that bowel health is as important as anything else. Plenty of water and fibre is a good first step, but exercise can also loosen you up. You will find yourself les edgy with clean bowels. I know it is unpleasant to talk about,  but so is constipation. Think of me as your mum.

“A recent study in the British Journal of Cancer revealed that people with at least 60 minutes of physical activity from adolescence could potentially reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by more than a third. The report, led by researchers from the University of Sao Paolo, is the first to analyze the direct link between physical activity during adolescence and the risk of developing adenomas later in life.

Physical activity, crucial for risk reduction
Colorectal cancer refers to cancers that start in either the colon or rectum. These can also be called colon or rectal cancer, depending on where the disease first appears. Most colorectal cancers develop from adenomatous polyps, or precancerous growths in the colon or rectum. In their report, the team drew data from 28,250 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II, one of the largest investigations into risk factors for major chronic diseases ever conducted. They included women who offered data on their individual history of physical activity and had lower bowel endoscopy between 1998 and 2011. The researchers found that daily physical activity for more than 60 minutes during adolescence, measured from age 12 to 22 years, reduced the risk of adenoma by seven percent, compared to little or no activity. Meanwhile, physical activity only during adulthood, measured from age 23 to 64 years, reduced the risk by nine percent, and physical activity in both adolescence and adulthood reduced the risk by 24 percent. These numbers are adjusted according to known risk factors such as smoking, diet, alcohol intake and family history of colorectal cancer. When the severity of adenoma is considered, the differences become more significant. Compared to participants with low-activity lifestyle during both adolescence and adulthood, those with high physical activity during both stages had a reduced risk of advanced adenoma by 39 percent. To note, advanced adenomas are bigger in size and more likely to develop into cancer. “This increased level of risk reduction correlated with villous adenomas, which are aggressive polyps with a diameter of more than 1 cm and are the most likely to evolve into colorectal cancer,” explained Leandro Rezende, one of the lead authors of the study. Physical activity reduces the risk of colorectal cancer because it decreases body fat, inflammation and insulin levels. It can also lead to a balanced and more diverse gut bacteria, resulting in good metabolic and inflammatory activity.”

     We are made to move, and ill health results when we do not. All the more reason to get up away from that pesky computer and take a walk in the bush, or even around the block, with the wife or hubby. It is amazing sometimes, the magical things that can be found in your own backyard, if only one looks. And, stop to smell the roses, being careful that no bees did so first, and still are.



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Thursday, 13 August 2020
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