Being Overweight or Obese, means that a person has too much Unhealthy Body Fat in relation to Lean Body Tissue, such as muscle or Unhealthy distribution of body fat. Many factors can cause Obesity, including Genetic, Hormonal, Environmental, Emotional, and Cultural factors.
Overweight people have a Higher Risk of many serious health conditions, including Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular diseases as well as an increased risk of many types of Cancer.
Cancer begins when Genetic changes interfere with the orderly process of Growth and Division of Cells, which are the basic units that make up the human body.
According to experts belief, the increased risk of Cancer in an Obese individual is largely due to the Inflammation caused by Visceral Fat- the fat that surrounds the Vital Organs.
Excessive Visceral Fat affects certain very important processes in our body, like Hormones’ management like Insulin and Estrogens. The increased number of large Visceral Fat cells don’t have much room for oxygen. This low-Oxygen Environment triggers Inflammation.
INFLAMMATION is the Body’s Natural Response to any Injury, Infection, Chemical, or even an Undigested protein particle that the body regards as a Threat to its Survival.
For example, if we get a deep cut, the cut’s area becomes inflamed, i.e., it becomes red and painful to touch. This kind of minor Inflammation helps to Repair the damaged tissue and help with the healing process.
In contrast, long-term Inflammation caused by excess visceral fat can damage the body and increase the risk for Cancer.
The Uncontrollable Division and Reproduction of cells, which happens in Cancer – increase the probability/ risk of DNA damage due to Genetic Changes and resulting in Tumor Formation due to genetic changes causing the cells to grow uncontrollably.
Excess body fat increases the risk for several Cancers, including Colorectal, Post-menopausal, Breast, Uterine, Esophageal, Kidney, and Pancreatic Cancers.
The Reasons That Link Obesity with Cancer
Inflammation and Insulin/ Insulin growth factor -1 (IGF-1)
- Chronic inflammation results in raised Insulin and Insulin growth factor-1 levels.
- Inflammation caused by Obesity results in INSULIN RESISTANCE – when the body does not respond to Insulin correctly, it results in increased production of Insulin to make up for that and regulate Blood Sugar levels.
- The increased insulin production triggers an increase in the number of cells produced, which in turn increases the risk for tumor formation leading to Cancer.
Estrogen and Cancer
Increased levels of Insulin also affect the way Hormones like Estrogens are controlled.
- More Insulin leads to more Estrogen production by Fat Tissues and its availability, which increases the Cancer risk due to an increase in cell production.
- Normally in women, the main source of Estrogen is the Ovaries.
- In men, testosterone is converted to estrogen by an enzyme. However, fat cells in both men and women also make