Tuesday March 26, 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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Obesity Can Result in Early Onset of Puberty: Study

Controlling the obesity epidemic in children could be useful in decreasing these risks, Mericq noted

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Obesity
An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. VOA

Obese boys and girls are likely to enter puberty at an early age, which can result in stunted growth or depression, finds a new study.

The study showed total body obesity and excess belly fat in boys aged four-seven years were associated with greater odds of starting puberty before age nine.

“With the increase in childhood obesity worldwide, there has been an advance in the age at which puberty begins in girls. But in boys the evidence has been controversial,” said lead researcher, Maria Veronica Mericq, Professor from the University of Chile.

The study that will be presented at the ongoing ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, the US.

For the study, the researchers included 527 Chilean boys.

Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.

Among boys aged five or six, those with obesity had nearly 2.7 times the odds of starting puberty early. Whereas those with excess belly fat had almost 6.4 higher odds of puberty before age nine, said Mericq.

She said excess belly fat more closely related to fat mass, because a higher BMI may reflected increased muscle, especially in athletes.

Precocious or early puberty has been linked to possible problems, including stunted growth, emotional-social problems like increased risks of depression and substance abuse.

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In addition, in boys, it could lead to higher incidence of testicular cancer in adulthood, said Mericq.

Controlling the obesity epidemic in children could be useful in decreasing these risks, Mericq noted. (IANS)