The excess of body fat and cancer

Studies show consistency in affirming the relationship between higher body fat percentage and cancer risk.

Obesity is considered a predisposing factor to the appearance of breast, uterus, endometrial, colorectal, kidney, esophagus, pancreas, gallbladder, head and neck, prostate, and, in recent publications, thyroid cancer.

According to experts, there are several reasons why excess body fat becomes a risk factor for cancer. Excess of body fat causes an increase in insulin levels and insulin growth factor type 1 (IGF-1). This body composition promotes low-grade of chronic inflammation and, higher amounts of circulating estrogen.
In addition, recent research has established a relationship between cholesterol and one of its major metabolites (27-hydroxycholesterol) in thyroid tumor-specific growth and the degree of its aggressiveness.

We emphasize the importance of studies linking excess body fat and risk of recurrence in those individuals who follow controls for breast, prostate or colon and rectal cancer.

Currently, there are several scientific research exploring mechanisms that link the gut microbiota, excess body fat and cancer. It has been found that the diversity of gut microbes in obese people is different than people with normal weight. Imbalances in the gut microbiota are associated with a higher degree of inflammation, altered metabolism and genotoxicity, which is linked to the onset of cancer.

In conclusion, being overweight, obese, or have excess body fat, increases risk of developing chronic diseases. In the case of cancer, contributes to its development, promotes disease progression and a worse prognosis for patients.
Changes in diet that aim to reduce body fat, regulate chronic systemic inflammation, and enhance gut microbiota diversity, improve the clinical evolution of these patients.

At Khuab Institute we have a multidisciplinary team that specializes in nutritional counseling for cancer patient. From the first visit, we implement a specific nutritional plan and supplementation or supportive treatment to achieve the goals set with each patient, while improving their overall health.


by Esther Deltor
Institut Khuab’s nutrition area head