New Obesity Link to Breast and Prostate Cancer
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
New information helps to explain how breast1 and prostate cancer2 are linked to obesity. Two hormones that come from fat, leptin and adiponectin, are involved in the problem. When a person is normal body weight, leptin and adiponectin are in a happy balance with each other. The more overweight a person becomes, the more their relationship of these two hormones with each other becomes strained. Leptin levels go high and adiponectin levels go low3. This imbalanced combination has now been shown to throw gene switches that fuel the cancer process.
Adiponectin also controls insulin resistance. When it goes low it means there will also be higher blood sugar and greater risk for type II diabetes. This creates a highly pro-cancer environment as sugar is also needed to fuel cancer growth. This type of metabolic problems worsens with age, with female4 and male cancers more likely after age 50 due to this specific imbalance.
This is sobering information. It means that if you are overweight you must consistently be moving in the right direction and eventually end up at your goal weight if you wish to reduce risks. This is the only way to get leptin and adiponectin back in harmony with each other. Following the Leptin Diet, exercise, and dietary supplements to support weight management are clearly needed to help stay on track.
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