Research has revealed that combining a simple home strength exercise program, high-dose omega-3s, and vitamin D resulted in a cumulative reduced cancer risk of 61% in healthy 70 years or older individuals.
Cancer is regarded as a significant age-related disease in the US and Europe. It’s the 2nd leading cause of death in older individuals and as we grow older the chances of getting most cancers increases.
Besides preventative recommendations like protection from the sun and not smoking, public health efforts focusing on cancer prevention are limited. Prevention strategies in middle-aged and older individuals nowadays are mostly limited to vaccination and screening efforts.
Mechanistic studies have revealed that cancer cell growth is inhibited with vitamin D. Likewise, normal cells transforming into cancer cells may be inhibited with omega-3, and exercise has been found to reduce inflammation and improve immune function, which could help in preventing cancer.
There is however a lack of strong research proving the efficacy of these 3 simple interventions, whether alone or in combination.
The researchers wished to test the impact of a simple home exercise program, daily omega-3 supplementation, and daily high-dosage vitamin D3 supplementation, alone and combined, on invasive cancer risk in individuals aged 70 or older.
To achieve this, a 3-year trial was carried out involving 2,157 individuals. The goal was to test potential intervention combinations for preventing cancer making use of possible small additive benefits from various public health strategies. The aim of novel cancer treatments is actually to block multiple pathways for the development of cancer by the combination of different agents.
The individuals were randomly allocated to 8 different groups for testing the individual and combined intervention benefits. Group 1 was given 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day, 1g of omega-3s per day, and a simple home strength exercise program 3 times a week. Group 2 was given omega-3s and vitamin D3; group 3 a simple home strength exercise program and vitamin D3; group 4 a simple home strength exercise program and omega-3s; group 5 only vitamin D3; group 6 only omega-3s; group 7 only a simple home strength exercise program; and the last group were given a placebo.
Check-up phone calls were administered every 3 months as well as standardized health and function examinations in the trial centers at the start of the study, the 1st year, 2nd year, and 3rd year.
The results revealed that all 3 of the treatments had cumulative benefits on invasive cancer risk. Each one of the treatments alone produced a small benefit which became statistically significant when all 3 treatments were combined, and an overall 61% reduction in risk of cancer was seen.
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