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Study Finds Exercise Hormone May Improve Survival Rate

A new study found that irisin, a hormone released during moderate to intense exercise, may prevent and help treat breast cancer.

Previous studies show that women with breast cancer who exercise have better rates of survival and improved quality of life. A new study from the University of New Mexico Albuquerque, has identified irisin, a hormone released during moderate to intense physical exercise, as a potential preventative and treatment aid for breast cancer.

During the investigation, researchers treated malignant and aggressive breast-cancer cells with varying doses of irisin. The number of treated cancerous cells were reduced by 34 percent while the nonmalignant cells remained the same. The migration of the cancerous cells to new sites was lessened by 51 percent. The apoptosis, or cell death, that occurred in the cancerous cells was 22 times greater than the cells that were untreated. Scientists also added the hormone to doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug, and found the cancerous cells that had been treated with both died off at all concentration levels. 

Researchers postulate that irisin might slow metastisis and even prevent it from occurring. Irisin may also be added to chemotherapy treatments to allow for a lower, more bearable dosage.

According to Psychology Today, irisin is a recently discovered hormone that is released in the body when a person is partaking in moderate to intense aerobic activity. A study published in the journal Nature, archived its discovery, and researchers named the hormone after Iris, a Greek messenger goddess. The hormone is said to be a sort of messenger by triggering the rest of the body to increase its metabolic rate and convert white fat into brown fat. 

The hormone is said to potentially aid in treatment of diabetes, obesity and prevention of brain degeneration. It has also been shown to improve cognitive functioning and may slow aging by lengthening telomeres. Further testing is necessary to discern irisin dosage and treatment methods before the hormone can be used in human trials.

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