Monday, July 22, 2019

Obesity, Inflammation and Cancer

When our body is infected, our body's immune system fights the infection. While fighting the infected area, our body will often cause the affected area to become inflamed. And under normal conditions, once the infection is over, and the immune system no longer needs to fight the infection, the inflammation will subside. But when the inflammation lasts too long, it can cause problems in our bodies. Overweight and obesity can cause inflammation in the body. And if the overweight or obesity is long term, they may cause long term, harmful, inflammation. Further, this inflammation can lead to serious diseases, including colorectal cancer.

Too much inflammation creates a condition in which the "immune response has not been turned off so your immune system is running out of control, releasing pro-inflammatory immune cells when they’re not needed anymore." Pro-inflammatory proteins, called cytokines, are associated with these cells. These cytokines are also associated with fat cells. So with an abundance of fat cells, there can be an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines. And a recent study has shown that this increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines can lead to colorectal cancer.

The study was done at Tufts University. One of the investigators indicated that their study 'results establish, for the first time, that concentrations in the colon of two major cytokines increase in concert with increasing BMI in humans. The increased concentrations are accompanied by changes in gene activation within the lining of the colon that are pro-cancerous in nature.'

Overweight and obese persons can suffer from a number of unhealthy conditions. And many of the conditions may be linked to inflammation. One of these conditions is colorectal cancer.

As we learn more about the link between inflammation and cancer, therapies can be devised to target the inflammation. But one thing is obvious: treating overweight and obesity should be an ongoing endeavor, since there is a link between overweight or obesity and inflammation.


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