Fat and colon cancer
March 20, 2014
People who are obese have a higher risk of colon cancer, and one small study adds a hormonal link, focusing on the appetite-regulator leptin, which is made by fat cells.
At Michigan State University, Jenifer Fenton looked at data on 126 men ages 48 to 65 who had routine colonoscopies. She examined whether leptin levels rose as fat did, and whether the colonoscopies showed the men had more polyps – abnormal tissue that can develop into cancer:
“Leptin levels increased in obese individuals. They were then three times more likely to have polyps – and a specific kind of polyp called a tubular adenoma.”
This kind is more likely to become cancerous.
The study in the journal PLOS One was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at healthfinder.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
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