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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

About Fat Cells and Inflammation

This study, conducted by researchers at Newcastle University and the University of Leeds, UK, is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  In it they found that being overweight more than doubles the risk of bowel cancer in people with Lynch Syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder which affects genes responsible for detecting and repairing damage in the DNA. Around half of these people develop cancer, mainly in the bowel and womb.

However, over the course of a ten year study they found this risk could be counteracted by taking a regular dose of aspirin. 

What!!!???  Aspirin counteracts the risk of cancer in fat people?  Wow.  Aspirin is one of the oldest, safest, drugs known to man, from at least the time of the ancient Egyptians (willow bark) to the development of the pills we have today in the 1800’s.  Caveat—stomach problems are the drawback of aspirin.

Cancer, we know, is a disease of inflammation.  Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug.  But the connection to obesity is my point today. 

Separate from normal wear and tear aging, full fat cells drive chronic inflammation.  The details of that are beyond the scope of today’s post, but they jack up inflammatory chemicals in your body.  The more visceral fat you have, the higher your level of chronic inflammation - and thus the more damage gets added over time to the state of your biology. 

Aging itself is simply your body’s reaction to the damage inflammation causes.  YES, even WRINKLES!  So for those of us with more visceral fat, we have to do more to knock down those inflammatory chemicals. 

The name of my website is minding the middle aged middle—and getting it smaller is important for us who are overweight.  But not only because of cultural pressure or superficial reasons.  It’s an anti-aging strategy because it’s an anti-inflammatory strategy.

 In overweight mice and humans the fat cells, are sending out  false distress signals - they are not under attack by pathogens. But this still sends local immune cells into a tizzy, and that causes inflammation.
Is it hopeless until you’ve lost the weight?  No.  You have heard me talk about the CRP test that measures chronic inflammation.  I am happy to report mine is now VERY low.  And I still have visceral fat I’m working on.  It can be done. 

And what does that get me?  The net result is that I feel better than ever before, I run circles around most of my peers and many who are younger.  And my risk of cancer or any number of other inflammatory and degenerative diseases is extremely low.  That is what I wish for others, as well.  Read back issues to find out what it takes.  It’s not doctors but it is under your control. 

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