Study shows obesity and cancer link

education wednesday 12-3-14

Unless you’ve spent the last several decades living under a rock you are well aware of the fact that smoking causes cancer.

Plus a good number of other carcinogens from our food and environment have been identified including things like asbestos, heavy metals, radon, plutonium, radiation, numerous chemicals, engine exhaust, and even chemotherapy drugs and Tamoxifen (how’s that for a kicker?).

Certain infections and viruses also have a strong association with the development of cancer including:

  • H. Pylori infection
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Hepatitis B and C viruses
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Human herpesvirus 8 (also known as Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus)
  • Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1

Well, there’s a new member of the “Associated with Cancer Club” that potentially affects about one out of three people in the US and many other countries around the world.


Here’s the scoop:

Obesity and cancer—more than a coincidence

A recent study published in The Lancet Oncology has shown that obesity is associated with close to 500,000 new cancer cases worldwide each year, with the majority of them (nearly two-thirds) occurring in North America and Europe.

Not surprisingly, the highest number of obesity-related cancers was in North America, with more than 110,000 (23 percent of the worldwide total), while the lowest number was in sub-Saharan Africa, with 7,300 cases (1.5 percent of the global total).

Women appear to have more than double the risk of men.  The analysis of the data showed that excess weight was associated with 345,000 new cancers in women in 2012, as compared to 136,000 new cancers in men during 2012.

Among women, the most common obesity-related cancers were postmenopausal breast, endometrial and colon cancers.  With men, colon and kidney cancers were the obesity-related forerunners.

It ain’t no surprise

It’s been a well-known fact that obesity is associated with back and joint problems and is part of the “perfect storm” of conditions known as metabolic syndrome (along with insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, and most recently non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Yet the obesity-cancer association may have some people scratching their heads.

Well, let me enlighten you as to exactly what’s going on here, because the link between obesity and cancer is anything but a surprise.

Obesity-cancer connection #1: Sugar

Consistently elevated levels of blood sugar (which is frequently seen in obese people) causes repeated releases of insulin from the pancreas, and if blood sugar and insulin levels remain elevated for a long time, it can lead to inflammation.

Tumor cells use this inflammation as a signal to multiply—and that especially includes malignant tumors.

In a September 2013 study from the University of Copenhagen, researchers found sugar molecules to be assisting in the growth of malignant cells by binding to them in a process called glycosylation.

In addition, sugar also feeds the harmful bacteria in your gut and can cause them to overcome your friendly bacteria.  When this happens, your immune system (70% of which reside in your gut flora) is greatly hampered.

Your immune system protects you against cancer, so when it can’t do its job, that also increases your cancer risk.

In addition, sugar is an acid-creating substance, so eating a lot of it can lead to a more acidic pH in your body, and this is especially dangerous.

You see, your body was designed to be slightly alkaline—that is how all of your organs and systems work best.

On the other hand, when you become too acidic, your cells cannot function like they should, wastes build up and your body becomes the perfect home for diseases and tumors to flourish—especially malignant tumors.

Studies have shown repeatedly that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment, but cannot survive in an alkaline environment.

Obesity-cancer connection #2: Salt

Like I mentioned above, H. pylori infection (the infection that causes most ulcers) is associated with increased cancer risk.

Well, that risk shoots up exponentially when people with H. pylori also have a high-salt diet!

A study done at Vanderbilt University showed an explosive increase in stomach cancer risk for people who have H. pylori and eat a high salt diet (especially fast and processed foods—and sadly, this is the typical diet of a large number of obese people).

The study, which was published in the journal Infection and Immunity, was conducted using two groups of gerbils both infected with H. pylori.  One set of gerbils was fed a regular diet and the other a high salt diet.

At the end of the study the researchers analyzed the animals’ stomach tissues. EVERY SINGLE GERBIL on the high salt diet developed cancer, compared with 58% of those on the regular diet!

The researchers noted that the stomach cancer appeared to start with the presence of a bacterial compound known as CagA, which is produced by H. pylori.

But that’s only part of the formula.

The other part is that the heavy concentration of salt helped to boost the production of CagA–to the tune of a 100% cancer development rate!

Obesity-cancer connection #3: Fiber

In addition to being loaded with sugar and salt, the Standard American Diet which is typical to many obese and overweight people is also severely lacking in fiber.

It’s a known fact that fiber is associated with a decreased risk of cancers, especially colon cancer.

First and foremost, fiber helps sweep out excess toxins and carcinogens from the GI tract, which helps encourage a healthy colon.

In addition, it helps whisk away old worn-out hormones that your body is trying to eliminate.  If old hormones stay around in the intestinal tract for too long, they can instead be reabsorbed into circulation and increase your risk of hormone-dependent cancers.

In addition, fiber also binds with heavy metals and helps to sweep them out of the body as well.  Heavy metals are also known or suspected carcinogens.

By the way, this is the reason why Sub-Saharan Africa showed the lowest incidence of obesity-related cancers like I mentioned above.  The traditional African diet is loaded with fiber, so their low cancer rate should be no surprise.

But fiber’s role in cancer prevention doesn’t stop there.

A recent study conducted at RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Japan has shown that a by-product of the digestion of fiber by your friendly flora boosts your immune system, and since your immune system protects you against cancer, this is yet another way fiber helps in the fight.

The researchers found that a fatty acid called butyrate (which is produced when your gut microbes break down fiber) breaks down fiber helps to encourage the development of more of your immune system’s Regulatory T-cells.

Not only do Regulatory T-cells help strengthen your overall immune function, but they are also important to calm and control excessive inflammation, which is also associated with the development of cancer.

Potential life-saving measures you can take

If you are overweight or obese, or just want to decrease your overall cancer risk, here are four very important, natural life-saving measures you can take to stack the deck in your favor and help keep cancer far away from you:

Step 1:  Keep it real

When you have a diet of real foods, not only are you helping your body to get all the crucial nutrients it so desperately needs to keep you healthy and strong, but you are also inherently limiting your salt and sugar intake and most importantly, naturally upping your fiber intake as well!

And the Great Taste No Pain system can guide you in achieving this very important goal.

Or if you’re gluten sensitive, Great Taste No Gluten.

Both Great Taste No Pain and Great Taste No Gluten show you the easy steps on how to create luscious meals using nutritious REAL foods that you and your family will positively love.

And both systems show you how to pair foods together (known as food combining) to help encourage better digestion.

When your foods are more thoroughly broken down like they should be, this encourages better nutrient absorption, fewer acid wastes and easier, regular bowel movements.

In other words, you can help your body become a far less attractive home for sickness and disease to fester.

In addition, better nourishment and the lower calorie intake from real foods can also help you drop excess weight and keep it off.

Step 2:  Balance your intestinal flora

For anyone who has had a fast food/processed food diet for a while, chances are excellent that the beneficial bacteria in your gut have taken a hit and may be outnumbered by harmful bacteria (a condition known as dysbiosis).

That can eventually lead to a weakened immune system, impaired digestion, poor nutrient absorption and anything-but-regular bowel movements.

All calling cards for cancer to come knocking!

But you can help replenish your supply of friendly bacteria by eating the nutritious real foods they love (in Step 1 above) as well as supplementing with a high quality probiotic formula like Super Shield.

Super Shield contains 13 strains of potent, top-grade probiotic bacteria.  These little powerhouses go to work immediately in your gut, helping to beef up your population of beneficial, disease-fighting bacteria, strengthening your gut wall, enhancing digestion and crowding out harmful pathogens.

And if H. pylori also happens to be a problem for you, Super Shield is your ticket!

You see, lab experiments have established that certain Lactobacillus strains — L. acidophilus, L. salivarius and L. casei — not only SLOW the growth of H. pylori, but they can help DESTROY it!

And all three of those strains happen to be in Super Shield.

Step 3: Move it

Nothing helps you shed excess pounds and expel disease-causing toxic wastes better than regular exercise.

Notice I said both “regular” and “exercise” in the same sentence.

By “regular” I mean something that you do at least 4 times a week, preferably 5 or 6.

And by “exercise” I mean something other than walking from the couch to the refrigerator for a snack and back during your favorite TV show.  “Exercise” should be an activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat.

Now if you’re one of those people that “doesn’t like to sweat because it’s gross,” know this:

Sweating is one of your body’s ways to expel waste products.  If these waste products instead remain inside of YOU, they can manifest themselves as things like bad breath, chronic body odor and eventually inflammation and disease.

Get over your “sweating is gross” phobia and/or stop making excuses not to exercise.  Instead get your doc’s OK (especially if exercise has not been a part of your life for a while or ever) and get your derriere moving.

Step 4: Make sure you have enough inflammation-fighting Omega-3 EFAs

Like I stated above, inflammation is an instigator behind cancer and can signal tumor cells to multiply.

And unfortunately, our Standard American Diet happens to be anemic when it comes to inflammation-fighting Omega-3 essential fatty acids.  At the same time, we are getting inundated with inflammation-causing Omega-6 EFA from our diets.

Talk about a recipe for inflammation overdrive!

But a high quality, Omega-3 oil formula like VitalMega-3 fish oil supplement can help you achieve the very important goal of balancing your Omega-6 and Omega-3 EFA ratio.

Just 2 capsules a day gives you a healthy 2,000 mg of the purest, medical grade fish oil including 1,200 mg EPA, DHA and other inflammation-taming Omega-3 fatty acids.

The health challenges we face in our world today are getting increasingly complex and scary, my friend.  We’re not just looking at isolated conditions but instead now clusters of major health problems and diseases that are deadly.

But that doesn’t mean YOU are defenseless against them!

Fight back against the frightening risks and factors behind cancer and other diseases.  You CAN beat the odds.

Start now.  You’ll never regret it.


One thought on “Study shows obesity and cancer link

  1. Reblogged this on Dynamic Health & Wellness and commented:
    Obesity is an epidemic over 30 % (CDC) of our population is considered obese and the stat is climbing. one which I am focused on with my writing endeavors and in pursuit of my PhD in Health Services- Community health advocacy & education . I appreciate this article- it is insightful, informative and useful. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: