November 19, 2008
Calorie Restriction Lowers Breast Cancer Risk
It's long been known that regular diet and exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. A new study done on obese, post-menopausal mice may have uncovered one of the reasons why.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that cutting calories and exercise affect pathways to mTOR, a molecule that integrates energy balance with cell growth and can contribute to various human diseases when it is not functioning properly.
It appears, however, that exercise affects a different pathway than calorie restriction and that calorie restriction works better overall than exercise in preventing cancer. The calorie-restricted mice had much better hormone profiles than mice allowed to gorge or mice who exercised but didn't lower caloric intake.
"These data suggest that although exercise can act on similar pathways as caloric restriction, caloric restriction possesses a more global effect on cell signaling and, therefore, may produce a more potent anti-cancer effect," [study author Leticia M.] Nogueira said.
This is yet more proof that a way of eating called calorie restriction (not to be confused with dieting or anorexia) can prevent age-related disease.
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