New Study: Low intensity training improves insulin sensitivity reduces risk of developing cancer.

by Paleo Rob on 11/10/2010

New study from Japan showing that low intensity training improves insulin sensitivity and decreasing fasting insulin levels. Great for those looking to lose weight and control there diabetes, but for the rest of us there are added bonuses. Low intensity training also was found to decrease IGF-I and increase IGF-BP’s. A high Insulin-like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) to Insulin-like Growth Factor – Binding Protein (IGF-BP) ratio is associated with increased risk of developing various cancers (amongst other other nasty things) so by performing low-intensity exercise and lowering your IGF-I and increasing your IGF-BP you are reducing your risk of developing cancers!

Effect of low-intensity aerobic exercise on insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins in healthy men.

Increased concentrations of circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) or IGF-I relative to IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) are associated with increased risk of developing several forms of cancer. Conversely, exercise is linked with reduced risk. This study aims to investigate the effect of a low-intensity exercise program on circulating levels of IGF-I, IGFBP-1, and IGFBP-3, in previously sedentary males. Fourteen healthy men participated in cycle ergometer training at lactate threshold intensity for 60 min/day, 5 days/week for 6 weeks. After aerobic training, insulin sensitivity improved by 20%, while fasting insulin levels decreased by 13%. Simultaneously, low-intensity aerobic training decreased the circulating levels of IGF-I by 9%, while IGFBP-1 levels increased by 16%. An interesting finding was that higher pretraining level of IGF-I was associated with greater decline in IGF-I with training. Insulin-sensitizing low-intensity aerobic exercise is thus considered to be an effective method for downregulating IGF-I and upregulating IGFBP-1 levels.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jake October 12, 2010 at 2:52 am

Nice find as far as linking high insulin levels with cancer. But the exercise regime they used is the chronic cardio condemned by all of the paleo exercise gurus.

The paleo people are correct at least as far as I am concerned.

When I was doing chronic cardio my fasting insulin was 7.8. That’s OK but it should be better.

Then 18 months ago I switched to Mark Sisson’s exercise plan. That is: I do Tabata intervals once a week and high intensity, fasted weight training sessions twice a week. I do no other cardio.

Result: my fasting insulin level dropped to 2.7. A drop of 65%.
Art Devaney is certainly correct in saying the more muscle mass you add the lower your fasting insulin will be.

What is the better choice:

Do chronic cardio for 300 minutes a week and your insulin level will drop by 13%.


Do high intensity paleo exercises for 95 minutes a week and your insulin level will drop by 65%.


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