Weight control, endocrine hormones and cancer prevention
Additional Document Info
The prevalence of obesity is increasing which becomes worrisome due to its association with several diseases and certain types of cancers. While weight control through dietary caloric restriction and/or physical activity protects against cancer in animal models, the underlying mechanisms are not fully defined. Weight loss due to negative energy balance is associated with alterations of multiple growth factors and endocrine hormones. The altered hormones and hormone-related functions appear to be responsible for anti-cancer mechanisms. In this review, we summarize the recent studies related to weight loss and the altered endocrine hormones, focusing on the reduced levels of the mitogenic insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and adipokine leptin as well as the raised levels of adiponectin and glucocorticoids. The potential molecular targets of these hormone-dependent signalling pathways are also discussed. Considering the increasing trends of obesity throughout the world, a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms between body weight, endocrine hormones and cancer risk may lead to novel approaches to cancer prevention and treatment.