January 14, 2013

199 Obesity & Cancer [14 January 2013]

I have previously written about the role of obesity and insulin resistance in the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease, but only touched on cancer. Recent research has shown a link between obesity and certain cancers that, like the other diseases, involves insulin resistance.

Obesity is known to lead to insulin resistance, where an adequate supply of insulin is unable to sufficiently lower blood sugar. In response the pancreas produces ever more insulin (and when that fails to lower glucose, medications may be prescribed to stimulate insulin production even further) leading to a condition called hyperinsulinism. It is this high level of insulin that is the culprit in the above mentioned conditions and likely in most cancer as well.

Insulin is a growth factor for the body signaling cells to multiply. It accomplishes this either directly or by increasing other growth factors like IGF (Insulin-like Growth Factor). Studies have previously shown that a high level of IGF increases risk for colon, postmenopausal breast, and some prostate cancers. Other cancers associated with obesity include pancreatic, kidney and endometrial. Diabetes itself is a strong risk factor for colon cancer, likely because of the associated hyperinsulinism. Estrogens stored in fat tissue may also be a factor for the breast cancer link.

Insulin resistance, and its accompanying hyperinsulinism, can be reduced by exercise and by eliminating simple carbs from your diet. A carefully controlled ketogenic diet (like Ideal Protein) is a more effective way to overcome insulin resistance and has the added benefit of losing fat safely and easily without hunger while maintaining muscle mass and energy levels.

Source: “Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Cancer Risk” by E.L. Giovannucci, Cancer Prevention, Issue 5, Spring 2005

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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