First Causal Evidence of Visceral Fat-Cancer Connection

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 (Last Updated: 03/07/2013)

WEDNESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- Reduction of visceral fat through surgery or diet reduces intestinal tumors in mice, with clear differences between males and females, according to a study published in the March issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

To examine the role of visceral fat in intestinal tumorigenesis, Derek M. Huffman, Ph.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues treated mice genetically prone to develop intestinal cancer (Apc1638/N+) with a sham surgery and ad libitum feeding, visceral fat removal and ad libitum feeding, or sham surgery and caloric restriction to reduce visceral fat.

The researchers found that visceral fat reduction either through surgery or caloric restriction was effective in significantly reducing intestinal tumors, although only caloric restriction significantly improved survival. In females, only visceral fat removal was effective in reducing intestinal tumors, although visceral fat reduction either through surgery and caloric restriction improved survival. In males, only caloric restriction was effective in reducing intestinal tumors. Caloric restriction was associated with positive metabolic adaptations, while visceral fat removal was not associated with similar changes.

"In conclusion, these data provide the first causal evidence linking visceral fat to intestinal cancer risk, and suggest that factors, other than known metabolic mediators, may impact tumor development," Huffman and colleagues write.

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Specialties Gastroenterology
Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine

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