After losing at least five percent of their body weight, postmenopausal women who are overweight or obese had lower levels of inflammation markers, according to new findings from Cancer Research.
Washington state-based researchers analyzed height, weight and data from blood draws of 399 women before and after a randomized controlled trial (subscription required). Participants followed a 12-month program of aerobic exercise, a calorie restricted diet or both. A control group received no intervention. The researchers found that the weight loss reduced inflammation, marked by molecules and cells circulating in the blood. System wide inflammation has been linked to a number of chronic diseases, including cancer.
The weight loss intervention gave women a goal to lose 10 percent of their weight. Study leader Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, emphasized in a press release that the program was doable. "We are not talking about drastic weight loss," she said.
As for the results:
At the end of one year, C-reactive protein reduced by 36.1 percent in the diet-alone group and by 41.7 percent in the diet and exercise group. Interleukin-6 decreased by 23.1 percent in the diet group and 24.3 percent in the diet and exercise group.
. . .
"This study adds to the growing understanding we have about the link between obesity and cancer, and it appears we can affect inflammation directly through nonpharmaceutical means," said McTiernan.
These findings are just for a group of postmenopausal women and more research would determine if the results apply to others. Stanford researchers are also looking at inflammation and cancer risk: a group led by David Feldman, MD, recently published a paper examine the role of Vitamin D in reducing inflammation and cancer risk.
Previously: Study show growing toll of obesity and Inflammation, not just wear and tear, spawn osteoarthritis
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