A new study from Japan has shown that more muscles in the body not only make you look good, they also could save your life.
Researchers found that muscle loss is strongly linked to a poor response to new treatments for late-stage lung cancer.
Previously, scientists showed that the new cancer treatment can work with the patient’s own immune system and increase its ability to attack cancer cells.
The new treatments have been used to fight many cancers, including late-stage lung cancer. However, only some patients can achieve good outcomes.
In the present study, the researchers aimed to figure out the reason.
They focused on muscle strength because muscle degradation is linked to a weaker immune response. This may influence the effect of cancer treatment.
The team examined the medical records and treatment outcomes of 42 patients with advanced lung cancer.
These people received new cancer treatment. In addition, their skeletal muscle mass was measured prior to treatment.
The researchers found in patients with muscle loss, the treatment outcomes were far worse than people with normal muscle strength.
About 38% of patients with normal muscle mass remained in remission 1 year after treatment.
But only 10% of patients with muscle loss showed no sign of tumor progression at the same time point.
The results suggest that strong muscles may have an impact on cancer treatment efficacy.
It is possible to use muscle mass to predict whether cancer treatment is likely to be effective on the patient.
The researchers suggest that muscle loss is common in patients with advanced cancer.
New drugs that can increase muscle mass in cancer patients will be very important for future treatment.
If cancer patients can increase their muscle mass before their cancer treatment, they will have a better outcome in cancer treatment.
To gain more muscle mass, people can do several things in their daily life.
First, do strength training frequently. Strength training like lifting weight can help build bigger muscles in your arms, legs, chest, and back.
Second, add more protein to your diet. Good protein sources include eggs, skinless chicken, cottage cheese, whey protein, tuna, and other fish.
Third, add more carbs in your diet after a workout. Recent research has shown that you can rebuild muscle faster if you eat more carbohydrates after a workout.
Fourth, have a good rest after exercise. Your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out. Thus, after a full-body workout, you can have a day of rest.
The study lead author is Takayuki Shiroyama from Osaka University.
The research is published in Scientific Reports.
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