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New Research Suggests Weight-Loss Results in Less Risk for Cancer

New research published by the American Association for Cancer Research, and the medical journal Cancer Research suggests a link between weight-loss and a lessened likelihood for developing tumors. The study, which focused on overweight and obese women who have lost weight, specifically highlighted three proteins in the body—VEGF, PAI-1, and PEDF, which promote the growth of blood vessels. Blood vessel growth is an essential process for tumors to thrive.

The more weight the women in the study lost, the greater the drop in the levels of these proteins linked to blood vessel growth. Lead researcher for the study and principal staff scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Catherine Duggan, weighed in on her findings stating that “It is another piece of evidence in the jigsaw of the benefits of losing weight, and how important weight loss is to prevent cancer.”


The study assigned 439 overweight and obese women into 4 separate groups. The first group had a calorie-restricted diet of under 2,000 calories a day, the second group had an aerobic exercise program of 45 minutes five days a week, the third group had a combination of the exercise and diet, and the fourth had nothing. Blood samples were taken at the start of the study and a year later at its completion.

The results found the women in the diet & exercise group averaged a loss in the weight between 2% and 11%, with a corresponding drop in the levels of the proteins VEGF, PAI-1, and PEDF. Additionally, those whom were in the diet group also experienced a drop in their protein levels. The only groups whom did not experience a drop in their dangerous protein levels were the exercise only group, and the no diet or exercise group.

Dr. Shawn Garber the head surgeon at New York Bariatric Group remarked on the study, stating that “This study further cements the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen. We know that a higher risk for cancer is linked with obesity, so it is imperative to spread that message. It is our mission to help as many people get to a healthy weight and maintain that weight through healthy lifestyle adjustments.”

Victoria Stevens, the strategic director of laboratory services at the American Cancer Society gave her opinion on the study as well, relaying that “We know being obese or overweight increases cancer risk, so anything to avoid that, such as weight loss, should be a good thing in reducing cancer risk”.

To learn more about the negative effects of obesity and to find out if you qualify for a bariatric procedure, contact us at 800-633-8446 and set up a consultation!


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