(NaturalNews) It doesn't take much more than a casual glance around you to know that overweight and obesity rates have risen during the past half century, specifically skyrocketing over the past five to ten years. An overabundance of highly processed, fructose-infused convenience foods and meals eaten at fast food restaurants have been significant contributors to the rapidly growing problem apparent in many western cultures. To put it simply, people today eat differently than their parents and grandparents, and our fast paced lifestyle and lack of physical activity are accumulating pounds around the waists of many children and adults.
Most people do not realize that the protruding bellies so commonly seen today are a major factor in the development of certain lines of cancer. Investigative researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have published the result of a study in the journal Cancer Research that shows how fat progenitor cells may contribute to cancer growth by fortifying the vessels that provide needed blood to tumors.
The authors describe how fat progenitor cells can turn into various types of cells, and are known to fortify the vessels that provide essential blood to tumors. Prior population studies have shown that there is a correlation between obesity and cancer rates, and demonstrate that for many cancers, overweight and obesity is linked with poorer prognosis and faster progression of the disease.
Special adipose stromal cells are released through the blood to promote cancerous tumor growth
Dr. Mikhail Kolonin, lead study author noted "Our earlier studies led us to hypothesize that fat tissue called white adipose tissue, which is the fat tissue that expands in individuals who are obese, is itself directly involved and that it is not just diet and lifestyle that are important." Researchers examined two groups of mice, one obese and the other lean, and observed that when both were fed the same diet, the obese mice developed tumors at a higher and more rapid rate as compared to their lean counterparts.
The scientists also found that the obese mice had more adipose stromal cells (ASC's) that enter the circulation. When the stromal cells entered forming tumors, many of them turned into fat cells while others became part of the blood vessel network feeding the tumor growth. They concluded that adipose stromal cells contributed to angiogenesis, an essential component in tumor development that feeds nutrients and oxygen to fuel cancerous growth.
Dr. Kolonin concluded "Our results suggest that ASC's recruited from endogenous adipose tissue can be recruited by tumors to potentiate the supportive properties of the tumor microenvironment." In the past, researchers have associated overweight and obesity with increased risk for prostate, breast, ovarian, colorectal and renal cancers. This important study now explains the specific mechanism to explain how excess body fat is an independent risk factor in cancer development and progression.
About the author: John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.