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November 10, 2010 | 2 minute read

Fat Connections for Cancer and Diabetes

There’s not much good coming out of the continuing obesity epidemic but it has resulted in a lot of interesting research on fat tissue, such as a new study that suggests fat cells have a “tipping point.”

The study found that fat cells and tissues of obese people and animals can only store so much fat before a protein called SFRP1 in the fat cells trigger changes involved in metabolism. The protein may lead to factors related to the metabolic syndrome, many of which are linked to increased risk of cancer, along with diabetes and heart disease. For example, abdominal obesity and chronic inflammation are linked to increased risk of many cancers.

The study is published in the International Journal of Obesity Research, and you can read the abstract here.

SFRP1 levels appeared to increase as fat cells grew in volume, until levels peaked at about the point of mild obesity. After that, the researchers say in a press release, the way fat tissue is regulated changes significantly and in very obese people it may trigger metabolic syndrome.

Excess body fat is linked to seven types of cancer and is a shared risk factor between type 2 diabetes and cancer.

You can read about the link between diabetes (type 2) and cancer in an AICR eNews piece.

And for help on getting rid of that excess fat, here are some strategies.

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