According to research published in the journal BMC Medicine, excess body fat may increase the risk of prostate cancer due to its ability to alter the regulation of the genes around the prostate.
The research, which was sponsored by the Universidad de Navarra in Spain, looked at fat taken from patients who underwent surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PC), as well as from men who had cancer that had spread from their prostate. The men were classified according to their body type: lean, with a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, or overweight, with a BMI greater than 25.
The overweight men had dysfunctional gene activity in the fat that surrounded the prostate. The identified genes were involved with immunity and inflammation, cell growth and proliferation. The results also indicated that the genes became even less regulated as the cancer progressed from hyperplasia to prostate cancer to unconfined cancer.
This may have implications and may provide a catalyst for change among males who are overweight.
“In an increasingly obese population, understanding how fat, especially the fat surrounding the prostate, can influence the growth and severity of prostate cancer may provide an opportunity for implementing personalized lifestyle and therapeutic strategies,” said Ricardo Ribeiro, one of the authors of the study.
Prostate cancer facts
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that prostate cancer is the leading cause of death for men over 75 years old. People who are at a higher risk of developing cancer include African Americans, men older than 60 and men who have a brother or father who has colon cancer. There is an additional risk for men who farm, paint, have a diet rich in animal fat and have been exposed to cadmium.
Notable symptoms of prostate cancer include a delayed or slow urinary stream, blood in the urine or semen and aching in the lower back or pelvic bones. The NIH also reported that obesity can cause coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
According to The Mayo Clinic, you can help prevent obesity by engaging in 150 to 250 minutes of moderate exercise a week and having a low calorie diet that’s rich in nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
The NIH also noted that protein can help with weight control by providing energy and satiating hunger. You can get your protein from a variety of heart-healthy sources like nuts, legumes and Gold Standard Protein from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.