Friday May 24, 2019

Using aspirin may reduce obesity’s effect on cancer, finds study

To study how obesity affects this defence mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.

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To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.
Representational Image, Pixabay

Aspirin, a medication used to treat pain, fever or inflammation, could significantly reduce the effects of obesity on cancer, suggests a study on mice.

Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.

The new study, from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, showed that obesity could enhance cancer development by slowing down the key cancer defence mechanism.

“Epithelial” cells lining the surfaces of organs have the intrinsic ability to remove potentially malignant cells from their midst. This is called the “epithelial defense against cancer” mechanism.

Normally, the cells sense harmful cells and push them out by the process called cell competition.

Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of cancer, including colon, pancreatic and breast cancer.
Medicines. Pixabay

“This is the first report to show that obesity and chronic inflammation can influence competitive interaction between normal cells and transformed cells,” said lead author Yasuyuki Fujita.

“It implies other factors such as infection, smoking, sleeping patterns and ageing may also affect cell competition,” Fujita added.

To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.

Epithelial cells usually remove the potentially malignant Ras-transformed cells.

Feeding the Ras mice high-fat diets, which resulted in severe obesity, suppressed the defense mechanism and therefore increased the number of Ras-transformed cells remaining in the tissue.

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This suppression was seen in the intestine and pancreas, but not in the lungs, the researchers noted.

A month later, the Ras-transformed cells developed a tumor in the pancreas of mice with the high-fat diet.

Further experiments using the mice model and cultured cells revealed that fatty acids and chronic inflammation cause the suppression of the defense mechanism.

However, when mice fed a high-fat diet were treated with aspirin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, the defense mechanism was substantially enhanced.

This implies that reinforcing the epithelial defense mechanism with anti-inflammatory drugs could be utilized for cancer prevention, the researchers said. (IANS)

 

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Walking, Cycling Reduce Obesity Risk in Kids: Study

For the study, the researchers included over 2,000 primary school children

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Walking
Walk your way to good health.

Do your children go to school walking or riding a bicycle? If your anser is in affirmative, then they are less likely to be obese than those who use car or public transport, suggests a new study.

The study’s findings suggested children who actively commuted to school had lower body fat and were less likely to be overweight or obese.

In the study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, the researchers assessed the impact of extra-curricular physical activities — daily commuting to school and participation in sports — on overweight and obesity levels among primary school children.

The researchers observed that physical activity was better predictor of obesity level in children than commonly-used body-mass index (BMI) as it looked at total weight, including “healthy” muscle mass, rather than fat mass alone.

“Both BMI itself and the points at which high BMI is associated with poor health vary with age, sex and ethnicity,” said the study’s first author Lander Bosch, a Ph.D scholar at University of Cambridge.

“While adjustments have been made in recent years to account for these variations, BMI remains a flawed way to measure the health risks associated with obesity,” Bosch said.

CyclingStress, meditation, PTSD
Cycling, walking in nature may also improve your mental health. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers included over 2,000 primary school children.

Likewise, the researchers also used BMI to check obesity risk in children. Surprisingly, children who participated in sports daily appeared more likely to be overweight compared with those who engaged in sports less than once a week.

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“The link between frequent participation in sport and obesity levels has generated inconsistent findings in previous research, but many of these studies were looking at BMI only,” asserted Bosch.

“However, when looking at body fat instead, we showed there was a trend whereby children who were not active were more likely to be overweight or obese. It’s likely that when looking at the BMI, some inactive children aren’t classified as obese due to reduced muscle mass,” he noted.

The researchers maintained that active commuting to school could be “promising” for combating childhood obesity. “It’s something so easy to implement and it makes such a big difference,” said Bosch. (IANS)