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Body Fat Increases Cancer Risk

Fat Triggers Hormonal Imbalances, Causes Cancer to Grow

By Jeanie Lerche Davis, WebMD Health News

Need another reason to lose those extra pounds? How about reducing your risk of getting cancer?

Though obesity and cancer are major concerns for many Americans, most people are unaware that being overweight increases their risk for cancer, according to an American Institute for Cancer Research study. Of the more than 1,200 adults they polled this June, only 25% knew there as a link between the two.

Research now shows that fat doesn't just sit there -- it actively alters the body's normal hormonal and chemical balances, sending signals that, under the right conditions, cause cancer to grow.

"The more we understand about obesity, the more we realize that simply being overweight and inactive -- in other words, living the modern American lifestyle -- produces basic hormonal and metabolic changes," says George Bray, MD, of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, in a news release.

"These changes make it easier for cancer to gain a foothold," Bray says.

"Most of us look at our guts and our hips and our love handles and think of fat as an inert substance that merely collects and hangs off of us," says Bray.

However, research shows that body fat produces an excess of substances such as sex hormones and insulin. Under normal circumstances these are perfectly normal substances that contribute to natural body chemistry. But in an obese person, higher levels of these chemicals can urge cells to grow and divide at an accelerated rate.

Some scientists predict that excess body fat will ultimately prove to be strongly implicated in the development of the so-called "hormonal" cancers -- those of the breast, prostate, ovary, uterus, and testicle, says Bray.

But obesity doesn't seem to affect only these types of cancers.

In fact, one study of almost 90,000 women -- between 40 and 59 -- shows that obesity doubles the risk of colorectal cancer in women. Researcher Thomas E. Rohan, MD, PhD, chairman of epidemiology and social medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, published the results in the August issue of the medical journal Gut.

Before menopause, fat tissue is only a minor source of total estrogen circulating in the body. Therefore, being very overweight in youth and young adulthood may increase a woman's risk for bowel cancer, they say.

However, being very overweight after menopause did not increase the women's risk of bowel cancer, reports Rohan. If anything, their risk slightly decreased. He suggests that after menopause, fat tissue is an important source of estrogen, which may be protective and counteract the harmful effects of insulin in the bloodstream.

Bottom line: "Avoiding weight gain is one of the most important things we can do to prevent cancer," says Bray.

Are You Losing Body Fat or Water?
By Meri Raffetto 



I tried that diet and lost 8 pounds in the first week!”

“I’ve gained three pounds in one day! It must have been the cookie I ate or maybe the mashed potatoes!”

These are comments I hear so often that I decided it would be a good topic for an article to help people have a better understanding of the fluctuating numbers on their scale. It is important to understand, when we step on a scale, it is measuring every part of our physical being at that moment in time, which means it measures our fat, muscles, organs, tissue and water weight.

Water weight can affect your total weight anywhere from 1-10 pounds and sometimes even more. It is important to understand what kinds of dietary factors can make these fluid shifts happen. To start, many of the high protein, low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins, or the beginning of South Beach can cause a dramatic shift in your water weight. This is because as you significantly cut back carbohydrate intake your body starts breaking down the stored carbohydrates (glycogen) to use as energy, and this breakdown causes the body to excrete large amounts of water. Once the body begins to use stored fat for energy, weight loss slows. This is why most people lose a significant amount of weight right away on a low carb, high protein diet. Extreme low carb, high protein diets can often lead the body to a state of dehydration because of the significant fluid loss.

What is misleading is when a person following a low carb plan eats a carbohydrate-rich food they can easily gain 1-3 pounds. However, this weight gain is just your body replenishing the fluid it lost and is not gained fat. I have had numerous clients struggle with this and they end up yo-yoing back in forth with fluid weight thinking that it must be the half cup of rice they had the night before that caused them to gain that 2 pounds when in fact eating the rice just allowed them to regain some of the fluid they had lost from following a strict low carb plan. The fact is carbohydrates do not affect your weight quite that simply. Excess refined carbohydrates can strongly stimulate insulin production, which promotes fat deposition and increases appetite. This kind of weight gain will happen gradually, not dramatically overnight.

Sodium is another dietary component that can lead to fluid gain. Sodium can cause the body to retain fluid, which can lead to these frustrating daily weight fluctuations. Some people are more sensitive to sodium than others. Watch your diet and see if your weight gain corresponds with a high sodium meal the day before. For example, eating out in restaurants can often increase your sodium intake significantly.

The best way to tell if you are retaining fluid is to pay attention to your body. If you get indentations on your ankles and lower legs from your socks then you are retaining fluid. If you wear rings and they become tight and leave an imprint in your fingers when you take them off then you also likely retaining fluid. Any kind of puffiness in your skin is a good indication of water weight.

The bottom line is that it takes 3500 calories to gain or lose 1 pound of body fat. This equates to an extra 500 calories a day over 7 days to gain a pound. This means if you gained 3 pounds in one day you can chalk it up to fluid weight otherwise you would have had to consume10,500 extra calories that day which is not likely! True weight gain happens gradually and likewise we lose it gradually. Check your weight weekly instead of daily and look for overall trends. If you are seeing dramatic daily changes in your weight, it is likely the ever-changing shifts of our bodies’ water weight.


There are four methods by which the body eliminates wastes: exhalation, perspiration, urination and defecation. The major organs involved in waste removal are the lungs, skin, kidneys, liver and colon. If any one of these systems or organs fails to perform, the other three must accommodate removal of the excess wastes. If a system cannot tolerate the surplus of wastes, the body is forced to reabsorb it. The reabsorption of wastes causes body toxicity levels to rise. Once toxicity levels rise, disease and illness take over.

Do you experience allergies, constipation, diarrhea, skin problems, headaches, fatigue, halitosis, stomach bloat, lower backache, poor digestion, gas, sluggishness (especially after meals), weight gain, and depression.  If so, you may be one of the millions of people suffering from colon problems.  The colon is one of the most neglected parts of the body.  Did you know that even in small quantities, many poisons from a toxic colon could age and destroy your body? If you do not eliminate properly, weight loss is impossible.

This year, almost two million more people will be diagnosed with colon disease.  The average person carries 7 to 25 pounds of dried fecal matter logged in the intestinal tract.  Food transit time for a person on a typical western diet ranges between 75 and 100 hours.   Poisons, parasites, germs, and worms accumulate on the walls of the colon from decaying fecal matter and excess mucus.  Every cell and tissue in the body is fed by the bloodstream, which is affected by the colon via the portal vein and the mesentery.  When the colon is toxic, so are all the other organs and tissues of the body.   The colon must be cleaned before any effective healing can begin.  It’s just like trash; it must be emptied regularly!  If not, constipation and purification develops.  A normal colon is about 5 feet long and 2.5 inches in diameter.  Autopsies have shown that a person’s colon was 9 inches in diameter, and there was passage the size of a pencil.


Why is it that your girlfriend can inhale a pint of Chunky Monkey and not gain an ounce, while even the thought of chocolate seems to make your jeans feel tighter? In a word: metabolism.

We all know that
exercise gives your metabolism a boost. But, "your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is 60 to 75 percent of your total metabolism, so you actually burn more calories in the 23 hours a day that you’re not exercising than you do during an hour at the gym," says Melinda Safir, a registered dietitian in Dallas, Texas. The trick is to boost your RMR by avoiding metabolism mistakes –- something you can do without even breaking a sweat.

But if you're skimping on meals you may be doing more harm than good. Are you guilty of one of these top four metabolism mistakes?

Dehydration: Caffeinated beverages, alcohol, lack of water -- they all cause dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your body temperature drops and causes you to store fat. Avoid this by easing up on the liquid vices. If you must imbibe, down more water –- and make it cold (cold water burns more calories going down the pipe than water at room temperature).

Cardio-loading: While heart-pumping workouts will burn calories, it's your body’s level of lean muscle mass that has the biggest impact on metabolism. Since energy is required to maintain muscle tissue, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn –- even at rest.

Fueling up With Carbs: Eating and digesting food requires energy, and protein boasts the greatest food-generated calorie burn. “RMR increases two to three times more after eating protein than it does after eating carbohydrates and fat,” says Safir.

Skipping Breakfast: Your body slows down when you sleep and it doesn’t speed back up until you put fuel in it. In fact, skipping any meal is a recipe for metabolic disaster. If you allow yourself to get hungry your body will start to conserve energy by burning fewer calories.
--Amy Paturel

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