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Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition linked to increased risks of colorectal and endometrial cancers. While exercise is known to curb the risk of many types of cancer, scientists don’t fully understand its effects on Lynch syndrome. A recent study found that regular exercise reduced inflammation and boosted immune surveillance in people with Lynch syndrome.

The study involved 21 people with Lynch syndrome. About half of the participants engaged in a 12-month cycling program (three sessions per week, 45 minutes per session), while the others received standard care and a single exercise counseling session. Researchers assessed the participants' cardiorespiratory fitness and measured gene expression in colorectal tissue before and after the intervention.

They found that participants' oxygen consumption increased and colon and blood inflammatory markers decreased in those who exercised but not in those who received standard care. Gene expression analysis revealed heightened levels of natural killer and CD8 T cells in those who exercised.

Natural killer (NK) cells and CD8 T cells play critical roles in the immune system’s defense against cancer. They are crucial components of the body’s immunosurveillance mechanism, responsible for identifying and eliminating potentially cancerous cells.

These findings underscore exercise’s potential to intercept cancer in Lynch syndrome and shed light on its immunological effects in high-risk people. Learn about the differential effects of exercise intensity and duration on the body’s immune response in this live Q&A featuring Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

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