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The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

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November 6, 2009 | 2 minute read

Investigating the Energy-Cancer Link

More news on calorie restriction, from Dr. Stephen D. Hursting, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin. If restricting calories delays and/or prevents tumor formation – as a wide body of research shows – the question is how. And why does obesity increase the risk of cancer? (It does: If you haven’t already read about it – take a look at AICR’s new analysis on the obesity-cancer link.)

Dr. Hursting’s lab is trying to figure out what’s going on in the link between energy intake and cancer. He talks about the animal research involving a key factor in metabolizing energy: IGF-1, which is linked to increased risk of cancer. His research has shown that calorie restriction and obesity both appear to share a common signaling pathway.

He also spoke about some intriguing, relatively new research looking at how exercise plays a role in cancer prevention and energy. Although it looks like exercise does add to the calorie restriction effect, he said, obesity prevention by exercise is not the same as by weight. Two animals can be the same weight – one by diet and the other by exercise – yet there appear to be different signaling effects and gene expressions happening.

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