Molecular epidemiological approaches are being used to study how physical activity may protect against cancer. Prior epidemiological data suggest that physical activity protects against lung cancer; however, interpretation of these data is complicated by potential confounding by smoking. Glutathione (GSH) detoxifies cigarette smoke carcinogens and the paper tests whether physical activity levels are associated with blood GSH levels. Study subjects were enrolled in a chemoprevention trial testing whether antioxidant micronutrient supplementation reduces genetic damage from cigarette smoking. Physical activity data were collected by questionnaire from 178 subjects at 12 months of follow-up in the trial. Total GSH (tGSH), which is the sum of free and protein-bound GSH and glutathione disulfide levels, was measured using the 5,5′-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzenoic acid) colormetric assay with red blood cell samples collected at the 12-month time point. In multivariate linear regression analyses that controlled for gender and cigarettes smoked per day, tGSH was positively associated with hours per week of moderate intensity activity (β = 0.005, p = 0.02). Hours per week of vigorous intensity activity were unassociated with tGSH and the effect of moderate activity remained after control for vigorous activity. The results are consistent with prior research showing differential effects of moderate and vigorous activity and suggest a mechanism through which physical activity may influence lung cancer risk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis