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Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

New Delhi, April 20, 2017: Obesity leads to 13 types of cancer, including that of pancreas and esophagus, as fat cells affect the processes that regulate the growth of cancer cells in the human body, says a study.

Due to excess fat in the body, fat cells produce hormones and proteins, according to the study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Imperial College.

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Besides being released into the bloodstream, these are also circulated around the body and this is why they increase the risk of several different types of cancer.

Fat cells are also said to affect processes that regulate cancer cells’ growth.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight or obese, and with obesity linked to some 13 types of cancer, the problem of extra weight poses a serious threat to their lives.

Among the 13 types of cancer, which are believed to have strong connection with weight gain, are oesophageal (food pipe), pancreatic, liver, stomach, colon and rectum, gallbladder, lung, kidney and gynaecological cancer. Among women, breast, ovary or uterus cancer could occur.

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“The most common types include breast and colon, while the most difficult to treat include pancreatic, oesophageal and gallbladder cancer,” said the study.

Commenting on the study, Deep Goel, Director of Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Oncology Surgery at the BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said that obese had a greater risk of developing and also dying from several types of cancer.

“Let’s say, if there’s one normal-weight patient suffering from pancreatic cancer and another obese patient suffering from the same cancer of same stage, chances of an obese patient’s death are more over normal-weight patient,” said Goyal.

Stating that insulin is a very important part of how the body uses energy from food, Goyal said: “When people are obese, the level of insulin increases in the body which may help cancer cells to develop. Moreover, fat accumulated in the body changes the levels of sex hormones — oestrogen and testosterone, which again increases the risk of cancer.” (IANS)

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Researchers Identify Genes Causing Obesity

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

Researchers have identified genetic variants associated with obesity that is central to developing targeted interventions to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like hypertension, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found genetic sites that affect human body’s size and shape, including height and obesity. The findings will help understand how genes can predispose certain individuals to obesity.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers found 24 coding loci (or positions) — 15 common and nine rare — along chromosomes of individuals that predispose to higher waist-to-hip ratio.

Higher values of waist-to-hip ratio are associated with more incidence of diseases associated with obesity.

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

“For the first time, we were able to examine, on a large scale, how low-frequency and rare variants influence body fat distribution,” said North.

“A better understanding of the genetic underpinnings of body fat distribution may lead to better treatments for obesity and other downstream diseases obesity also impacts, for example Type-2 diabetes and heart disease,” suggested North.

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Further analysis revealed pathways and gene sets that influenced not only metabolism but also regulation of body fat tissue, bone growth and adiponectin, a hormone that controls glucose levels and breaks down fat.

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species. (IANS)