Obesity Linked to Deadly Form of Esophagus and Upper Stomach Cancer



 

A large new study reveals that obesity around the stomach area sharply increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus and upper stomach.


 

OBESITY LINKED TO DEADLY FORM OF ESOPHAGUS AND UPPER STOMACH CANCER

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, obesity remains an underappreciated risk factor for cancer, including some of the most deadly forms of cancer.  As I also specifically discuss in my book, the rising incidence of a formerly rare form of cancer, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and the gastroesophageal junction (the area where the esophagus and stomach join together), has been directly linked to steadily increasing levels of obesity in the United States and around the world by previous studies.  Now, newly reported data from a huge prospective public health study, the National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons (NIH-AARP) study, provides further insight into the serious impact of obesity on the risk of these formerly rare types of cancer.  This update of the NIH-AARP study appears in the current issue of the journal Gut.

The massive NIH-AARP study currently includes a whopping 218,854 volunteers, making it one of the largest ongoing prospective public health studies in the world.  Because of the enormous size of this clinical study, its findings are very likely to be highly significant.

During the course of this public health study so far, 253 cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma and 191 cases of upper stomach (gastroesophageal junction) adenocarcinoma have been diagnosed among the study’s volunteers.  After analyzing the known risk factors (including obesity) for esophageal and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in this huge group of research study volunteers, obesity, by itself, was found to double the risk of developing this deadly form of cancer.  Similarly, obesity, alone, nearly quadrupled the risk of gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.  Moreover, among study volunteers with normal body weight, but with increased fat in the abdominal area, esophageal adenocarcinoma was nearly two times more likely when compared to normal-weight adults without abdominal obesity.

The findings of this new study reinforce the conclusions of similar, earlier studies that I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, and confirm that obesity, and especially obesity in the abdominal area, significantly increases the risk of these two formerly uncommon (and highly lethal) types of cancer.

At the present time, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, and this still growing epidemic of increasing body weight shows no signs of slowing down.  As I discuss in my bestselling book, even conservative evidence-based estimates suggest that at least 15 percent of all cancer cases are directly linked to obesity, including several of the most dangerous forms of cancer.  If the incidence of obesity does indeed continue to rise from its already very high current level, obesity could, in time, overtake all other known modifiable risk factors for cancer.

If you are overweight or obese, please see your doctor about starting a sensible weight loss program, including healthy dieting and physical exercise.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 





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Lactoferrin Reduces Abdominal (Visceral) Obesity

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


 

LACTOFERRIN REDUCES ABDOMINAL (VISCERAL) OBESITY

Disturbingly, two-thirds of the American population already meets the criteria for being overweight or obese, one-third meets the criteria for obesity, and at least 2 percent of Americans are now considered to be morbidly obese. The cost of this rising epidemic of obesity is enormous (no pun intended), both to obese patients themselves, and to a nation that is struggling to pay for the skyrocketing cost of providing healthcare to its citizens.

Obesity has been unquestionably linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, gallstones, gastroesophageal reflux, arthritis, cancer, and multiple other serious illnesses. Despite these sobering realities, however, the incidence of obesity continues to rise in the United States, and increasingly, throughout the world.

In our high-calorie, low-effort modern world, it is very easy to pack on excess weight over the course of our lives. People, being people, are always looking for quick, easy solutions to their problems, including excess weight. Unfortunately, other than decreasing our intake of food and increasing the amount of exercise that we regularly perform, no other cures for obesity have yet been found.

However, a newly published study in the British Journal of Nutrition has identified an unlikely new dietary supplement that may be helpful in the battle of the bulge. Lactoferrin, which is abundant in the colostrum and milk of most mammals (including humans), is thought to primarily function as an antibacterial and antifungal agent, and may help to protect breast-fed babies from infection (in some countries, lactoferrin is routinely added to infant formula for this purpose). Recent research has also suggested that lactoferrin may have a beneficial effect on the metabolism of fat within the body, and in particular, the so-called “visceral fat” that accumulates within the abdominal area, and which has been specifically linked to an increased risk of generalized inflammation in the body, as well as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

In this small prospective, randomized, doubled-blinded study, 26 overweight men and women with abdominal obesity were randomized to receive either daily lactoferrin supplements (300 milligrams per day) or an identical placebo (sugar) pill (none of the participating patient volunteers knew which group they were in until the study was completed). These patient volunteers were then followed for 8 weeks. All of these research volunteers underwent CT scans to measure the extent of their total body fat, superficial (subcutaneous) fat, and visceral (abdominal) fat.

At the end of this 8-week study, the group that had been randomized to receive daily oral lactoferrin supplements experienced very significant decreases in visceral fat content, as well as decreased body weight, decreased BMI (a standardized measure of obesity that considers both body weight and height), and hip circumference, when compared to the group of volunteers who were assigned to take the placebo pills. Additionally, blood tests to evaluate the impact of daily lactoferrin supplements on metabolism did not reveal any apparent adverse side effects associated with lactoferrin supplementation.

While this is a very small study (only 26 patient volunteers were included), and the length of follow-up was very short (only 8 weeks), the prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled design of this study, when combined with the rather striking results that were observed, are rather compelling. Certainly, a larger study, with long-term follow-up, needs to be performed before daily lactoferrin supplements can be recommended as both a safe and effective aid to weight loss. Moreover, such a study would need to show that the reduction in visceral fat that was observed in this small Japanese clinical study is not only reproducible over the long-term, but is also associated with a clinically significant improvement in the illnesses that have previously been linked to abdominal obesity. Meanwhile, and until such a study is performed, I find the results from this small prospective clinical study to be very interesting, indeed.

For a detailed review of the impact of obesity, exercise, nutrition, and other important lifestyle factors on the risk of developing cancer, watch for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in September of this year.



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity

 


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit our premier global health information website every month. As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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