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Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Trevisani F., Scarpa M., Di Micoli A.
Dipartimento di Medicina Interna Cardioangiologia Epatologia e Scuola di Specializzazione in Medicina dello Sport, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Bologna
Regularly performing physical exercise may protect people from a number of digestive diseases, such as colon cancer, symptomatic cholelithiasis, diverticular and inflammatory bowel diseases, and irritable bowel syndrome. The protective effect rely not only on a more correct lifestyle and diet generally accompanying the regular physical exertion but also on the direct action of exercise on the digestive tract (motility, secretion, production of local protective factors) and the metabolic-hormonal status (improvement of insulin-resistance, increased antioxidant activity, anabolic action), immunological defences, and psychological condition of the subject. Although there is evidence for an inverse dose-response relationship between exercise and risk, the exercise-related protection against gastrointestinal diseases becomes statistically significant only for moderate or vigorous physical activities.
Due to the above effects, the physical activity extends its favourable impact to the management of most of these gastrointestinal diseases, such as colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.