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Weight Loss May Lower Breast Cancer Risk In Women



Diet and exercise may reduce the chances of breast cancer in women, scientists say. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reduced calorie diets and physical exercise lower circulating levels of hormones commonly associated with breast cancer. This evidence suggests that diet and exercise maybe effective in preventing breast cancer in women.

Researchers including Dr. Anne McTiernan from the Fred Hutchinson Research Center in Seattle, designed an experiment to ascertain the effects of exercise, diet or a combination of the two would have on serum levels of proteins and steroid hormones that cause breast cancer in women.

In order to find the answer, McTiernan and her colleagues selected 439 overweight and obese postmenopausal women for participation in a 12 month long experiment wherein participants were assigned to one of four groups: reduced calorie weight loss diet, aerobics, combined reduced calorie weight loss diet and aerobics, or control.

Results of the experiment yielded information that will be useful for the prevention of breast cancer. Comparison of the serum hormone and protein levels of women assigned to the four groups revealed the following:

  • diet reduced estrone levels by 9.6% compared to the control group
  • exercise lowered estrone levels by 5.5 % compared to controls
  • diet and exercise lowered estrone levels by 11.1% compared to controls
  • diet reduced estradiol evels by 16.2% compared to controls
  • exercise reduced estradiol levels by 4.9% relative to controls
  • diet and exercise reduced estradiol levels by 20.3% compared to controls
  • diet lowered free estradiol levels by 21.4% compared to controls
  • diet and exercise lowered free estradiol levels by 26% compared to controls
  • diet lowered free testosterone levels by 10% compared to controls
  • diet and exercise reduced free testosterone levels by 15.6% relative to the control group
  • diet increased SHBG levels by 22.4% compared to controls
  • diet and exercise increased SHBG by 25.8%

When you look at the bullet list, it's obvious that a pattern is emerging: a combination of diet and exercise lowered estrogen and testosterone serum levels. This is very important because most of the participants were 58 years of age and had BMI 30.9 kg/m2, placing them well within the obesity category, point I'll make clearer in just a moment.


Obesity Is Linked To Cancer

Volumes of research point to a relationship obesity and a variety of cancers, therefore it stands to reason that fat loss may significantly lower cancer risk factors, a point further demonstrated by McTiernan's experiment.

The results of the current experiment demonstrate that programs which combine aerobic exercise with diet are most effective for reducing serum levels of specific steroid hormones. This makes sense of you consider that aerobics and calorie reduction may accelerate weight loss. It's essentially a one-two punch; exercise forces the body to expend energy much faster than it would at rest (punch one) while weight loss diet reduces the amount of calories that you consume (punch two). 

Therefore the take home message is that weight reduction could be an effective course of action for breast cancer prevention, three reliable methods include diet, exercise or a combination of the the two aforementioned methods. Which method you choose is up to you.


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Article Sources

Campbell, K.L., Foster-Schubert, K.E., Alfano, C.M., Wang, Cc.,Wang,Cy., Duggan, C.R., Mason, C., Imayama, I., Kong, A., Xiao, L., Bain, C.E., Blackburn, G.L., Stanczyk, F.Z., and McTiernan, A. (2012). Reduced-Calorie Dietary Weight Loss, Exercise, and Sex Hormones in Postmenopausal Women: Randomized Controlled Trial Journal of Clinical Oncology doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.37.9792

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"Weight Loss May Lower Breast Cancer Risk In Women" copyright 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.





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