Exercise, lactate and cancer
The important role of lactate in cancer cell formation may explain why people who exercise regularly are at a lower risk of developing cancer.
New research led by Inigo San Millan, director at the Sports Performance Department and physiology laboratory at the University of Colorado, is published in the journal Carcinogenesis. The researchers analysed the role of lactate ( lactate is a by product of glycolysis, glycolysis is the breaking down of glucose into smaller molecules used to produce energy) in oncogenesis (oncogenesis is when normal cells become cancerous cells.)
Cancer cells consume more glucose than normal cells and it is believed that cancer cells produce more lactate than normal cells. During exercise lactate can accumulate in the tissue and blood and a build up of lactate can often result in a stiff "burning" feeling in the muscles. Athletes and those who exercise regularly are extremely efficient at turning lactate into an energy source for the body, preventing it from accumulating in excess.
The researchers also looked at how lactate helps to create an acidic micro environment outside the cancer cell, supporting the spread of cancer cells resulting in metastasis.
The study revealed that a sedentary lifestyle combined with too much sugar may lead to an excessive accumulation of lactate in the body. "With this paper, we open a whole new door for understanding cancer, showing for the first time that lactate is not only present but mandatory for every step in its development," said Inigo San Millan.
About the journal: Carcinogenesis: Integrative Cancer Research is a multi disciplinary journal that brings together various cancer research in the areas of Biology, Genetics, Epigenetics, Cancer Biomarkers, Molecular Epidemiology, Inflammation, Micro environment, Prevention and Carcinogenisis.