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updated on: November 08 2018

Martial arts training kills cancer, heart diseases, diabetes

Several research studies have shown that martial arts training increases antioxidative capacity. Antioxidant counteracts the effects oxidative stress. Antioxidant inhibits effects of aging.

Martial arts training kills cancer, heart disease, diabetes

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidation creates oxidative stress. The examples of oxidation are freshly cut apple turning brown, a steel post becomes rusty, copper penny changes colour from brown to green. All these examples are chemical reactions occurring in our environment with oxygen present.

Oxidation creates free radicals

The body's metabolic processes are chemical reactions occurring within the cells with the presence of oxygen. The products are free radicals.

As there are many, many chemical reactions occurring in the cells, the body continuously creates free radicals. Free radicals break down or damage important components of cells i.e. DNA, cellular walls (membranes).

So, oxidative stress impacts critical aspects of the aging process~progressive decline in physiological functions, more incidence of diseases, and lifespan shortening tendencies. Cancer, heart diseases, diabetes are some of the most common disease incidences related to aging.

Antioxidant: the natural antidote

In order to counteract the damages of oxidative stress, the body creates a natural antidote ~ antioxidants. Some of the antioxidants are glutathione, alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol.

Martial arts training boosts antioxidative capacity

Research studies have shown that martial artists had higher resting glutathione antioxidant serum. Although both martial artists and sedentary groups experienced increases in the amount of exercise-induced oxidative stress serum, the martial artists' bodies were more effective in removing the oxidative stressors.

After reviewing a number of research papers, it appears that the body is naturally able to adapt to create antioxidants to remove stressors generated upon exposures to challenges of physical exercise.

Side note: One of the studies were tested on middle-aged individuals (average age of 52). Age is only a number!

At the moment, scientists are unable to pinpoint the mechanism of how or why martial arts training increases the practitioners' antioxidative defense system.

One of the research papers were able to compare the effectiveness of different physical training modalities: aerobic training, circuit weight training and a combination of aerobic and circuit weight training. All the training modalities showed increases in antioxidant defense capacities.  The combination of aerobic and circuit weight training modality had the most positive result when compared to the aerobic training or circuit weight training alone.

Probably, the nature of martial arts training which closely mimics the aerobic and circuit weight training modality may be the reason. Nonetheless, physical training whether it's martial arts or not reduces the cancer risk.


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