Population studies strongly suggest that colon cancer risk is reduced in those who are physically active. Enlarged crypt lesions in the colon are early signs of increasing risk of colon cancer. These investigators proposed that HIIT not only enhances sport performance, but may also reduce the chances of developing colon cancer – a disease suffered by many people in developed countries.
The preventive mechanism by which HIIT may reduce formation of these crypt lesions relates to the fact that exercise training induces increases in a protein (SPARC); exercising muscle secretes SPARC which, then, may kill pre-cancer cells of the colon. The research protocols they used to pursue this SPARC mechanism included both detailed animal and human exercise experiments. The results revealed that the number of the pre-cancer cell was reduced by more than half after HIIT! This may be the mechanism by which participation in such activities as HIIT, basketball, soccer or other vigorous activities reduces colon cancer risk.