Lack of muscle increases the risk of cancer

Researchers at the American Cancer Society evaluated 900,000 people who were cancer-free for 16 years when the study began in 1982. They found that excess fat may be responsible for 14 percent of all cancer deaths in men and 20 percent of those in women. They conclude that losing weight can prevent more than 90,000 cancer deaths each year. That’s one in six cancer deaths in the United States.

I think the researchers should have concluded that a lack of muscle, rather than just too much fat, causes cancer. Your body produces millions of cancer cells every day you live. However, your immunity must be strong enough to target and kill every cancer cell before they can begin to grow and multiply in your body. As you age, you lose your ability to kill cancer cells and germs because of a lack of muscle.

When a germ gets into your body, you have to make cells and proteins called antibodies to kill those germs. However, antibodies and cells are made from protein and the only place you can store extra protein is in the muscles. If you have large muscles, you have a ready-to-use protein source from muscle to make antibodies and cells. If you have small muscles, you have a very limited source of amino acids to make protein, and your immunity is often insufficient to kill germs.

In the same way, you need antibodies to control cancer cells, so with the loss of protein stores in your muscles comes a loss of antibodies and an increased susceptibility to cancer.

If you are overweight, this study should deter you from exercising more and eating less. This is the largest study ever on the link between obesity and cancer, and it is the most statistically significant. The study has more than 10 times greater statistical significance than the largest previous research on the subject. Agrees with most previous studies that obesity is associated with an increased risk of cancers of the breast, uterus, colon, rectum, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder, adding new associations between obesity and cancers of the cervix, ovaries, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pancreas, liver and in men the stomach and prostate.

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