How Belly Fat May Raise Cancer Risk
It’s widely known that obesity increases the risk for several different types of cancer, but the mechanism behind this link is not fully understood. Now, a study conducted at Michigan State University provides some answers about this association.
Researchers discovered a certain protein released from body fat can cause a non-cancerous cell to turn cancerous. Results of the study also suggest that a lower layer of abdominal fat, rather than fat located just under the skin, releases even more of this protein (called fibroblast growth factor-2 or FGF2) that encourages tumor growth.
According to the researchers, abdominal fat, and not simply a higher-than-normal body mass index (BMI), is the more likely culprit when it comes to increasing cancer risk. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in Oncogene.