By: Matt Weik
It’s no secret that our great nation has an issue with obesity—mainly, putting the fork down and walking away from the table! With more than 60% of our population being overweight, something has to change to ensure longevity and our overall quality of life as we age. Illnesses are on the rise, including things like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and others. Many of these illnesses can be minimized if we took better care of our bodies. Cancer has become a household name these days—with families across the United States feeling its impact. The combination of being overweight or obese with the onset of cancer can be extremely fatal—and quickly. It’s for this reason that researchers are doing everything they can to figure out how to not only get people to lose weight, but also lower their overall risk factors for cancer.
For this particular study, researchers used 439 women who were considered healthy, overweight, obese, and postmenopausal as their subjects (to get a good mix of subjects). None of these women have/had cancer and were engaged in the study for the span of one year. They split the women into four different groups—one group was to follow a calorie and fat-restricted diet, the second group was asked to engage in aerobic exercise five days a week (45 minutes each session), the third group combined both anaerobic exercise with the diet, and the final group was the control and did nothing. What they were investigating was through weight loss how cancer-promoting proteins were effected in the body.
Researchers were looking at three particular proteins (VEGF, PAI-1, PEDF) that have been known to increase the development of blood vessels which essentially feed tumors through the process of angiogenesis. What they found was that those women who were engaged in either the diet or the combination of aerobic exercise with the diet lost more weight and had a reduction in the three cancer-promoting proteins when compared to the aerobic exercise only group and the control group.
While the researchers aren’t saying limiting the process of angiogenesis and cancer-promoting proteins such as VEGF, PAI-1, and PEDF in the body is going to ensure cancer prevention, they do however believe that lowering these will indeed help minimize the risk of getting cancer or the growth of cancer cells and tumors from spreading. Therefore, they believe it is extremely important to constantly be working on lowering your body weight (in a healthy manner) through diet and exercise. They believe in order to minimize the cancer potential within our bodies, a reduction in weight and body fat is necessary.
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Source:. Catherine Duggan, Jean de Dieu Tapsoba, Ching-Yun Wang, Anne McTiernan. Dietary Weight Loss and Exercise Effects on Serum Biomarkers of Angiogenesis in Overweight Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Cancer Research, July 2016 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0399