July 27, 2015

New Leading Cause of Cancer: Obesity

This is a great article from Mercola on how obesity is quickly overtaking smoking as the leading cause of cancer...

Close to 30% of the world's population is obese and 1 in 5 deaths in the US are now associated with obesity.  In the US, 75% of all healthcare costs are associated with obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, dementia, and, of course, cancer.

The hallmarks of obesity are insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.  In a recent study, obesity and insulin resistance were strong predictors of many age-related diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and all-cause mortality.  In fact, in this study none of the non-insulin resistant, middle-age participants developed disease or died while 36% of the most insulin-resistant group died or developed disease!  Of course, chronic inflammation has been on of the key indicators for a body fertile for cancer for many years. 

Obesity Fast Becoming the #1 Cause of Cancer

According to cancer specialists who discussed the trend at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago, obesity and insulin resistance may supplant smoking as the leading cause of cancer in the next 10 years for 10 of the major cancers.  

Researchers Beginning to Recognize the Power of Diet over Drugs

This is a significant change in a the approach to a disease that has always been touted something with mysterious causes driven by genetics only treatable with potentially toxic and marginally successful drugs, surgeries, and radiation.  Recent research shows that we have more control via diet and lifestyle which in turn controls how our genetics express themselves (epigenetic).  

Sugar is the biggest culprit.  For example, in a 15-year long study, which included data for 31,000 Americans, found that those who consumed 25 percent or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who got less than 10 percent of their calories from sugar.  

In my own journey, I limit my daily sugar intake to around 10 grams/day.  For comparison, a 16 oz soda can have 40 grams of sugar.  Since my lifestyle change which include extreme limitation of sugar, grains, and processed foods, my I lost 30 pounds in three months at which point my weight, blood sugar, and blood pressured leveled at normal levels.  But you can't believe how many people asked me if I had cancer.  I think Americans as a whole are so used to seeing each other overweight that a healthy person looks ill!

Mercola's article has a lot more detail and references so click here if you want to read more...