Findings published in the Journal of Proteome Research show that scientists have discovered 20 new hormones and other previously unknown substances that are secreted into the blood by human fat cells.
These findings demonstrate that fat is certainly not inactive. It’s similar to an active organ that sends chemical signals to other parts of the body. This can increase a person’s risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Considering there are billions of fat cells in the body, that can be a frightening thought.
Other problems associated with obesity are increased levels of inflammation compounds in the bloodstream and additional oxidative stress, which can lead to DNA mutation and lessened immune function. Together, these can lead to the formation and multiplication of unhealthy cells.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), more than 100,000 cancers in the United States each year are linked to excess body fat, and therefore preventable. The AICR maintains that excess body fat is linked to 49 percent of endometrial cancers, 35 percent of esophageal cancers, 28 percent of pancreatic cancers, 24 percent of kidney cancers, 21 percent of gallbladder cancers, 17 percent of breast cancers and 9 percent of colorectal cancers.
The Inflammation Connection
Why does being overweight increase a person’s risk of cancer? Laurence N. Kolonel, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, who helped the AICR with these cancer figures, says that excess body fat increases hormones like estrogen circulating in the body and can disrupt insulin processes, both of which can increase cancer risk.
He adds, “Being overweight creates low-grade inflammation in the body, and there’s a lot of research going on right now that links chronic inflammation to cancer.” Kolonel concludes, “The evidence is clear. If people sustain normal body weight and remain physically active throughout life, it will have a major impact on cancer incidence.”
Poor diet, of course, is linked to cancer as well, according to the AICR and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
A 2003 study of more than 900,000 men and women by the American Cancer Society indicated that death rates from all cancers were 53 percent higher for the heaviest men and 62 percent higher for the heaviest women in the study, compared to those who were of normal weight. Sadly, about half of all Americans don’t realize excess weight is a cancer risk, says the AICR.
What's the Answer?
Dr. Jordan Rubin, author of “The Maker's Diet” and our Certified Health Coach program (from a Biblical Worldview) says, “If you want to support a healthy weight, then stick to a healthy diet which includes plenty of servings of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and other good-for-you foods, including those that can support healthy inflammation levels.”
Jordan adds, “Additionally, be sure to include at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five days a week or more.”
It could just help you avoid excess fat’s weighty consequences, so you can say, “Goodbye excess fat” and “Hello, new me!”
For more information on our Certified Health Coach Institute, click this link.