In episode 105 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:

One of the biggest health concerns is the fear of cancer. It is a scary disease for people because pretty much everyone knows someone who has gotten cancer. Most of you also know that the most common factor for getting cancer is smoking. Smoking is the number one risk factor for developing almost all types of cancers. The number two risk factor, that most people don’t know about, is being overweight and obesity. Obesity is the second most significant risk factor for over 13 different types of common cancers. And researchers believe that it is quickly overriding smoking.

Due to health campaigns about smoking awareness, it is not as common as it used to be. So there has been a drop in the number of people who smoke, which means that obesity, within the next 5-10 years, will take the first position. Vaping has gained in popularity, and although it has not been identified as a risk factor for disease, I suspect that health concerns will be identified soon.

So, what is it about being overweight that makes it a risk factor for cancer? The first step is to define “obesity”. According to the medical community, overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 and obesity, 30 or more. Although it doesn’t take into account fat distribution or composition, it is better than the old way of stepping on a scale. The biggest explanation of why obesity is a risk factor is visceral adipose tissue.


Body fat isn’t just a deposition of fat in your abdomen; it is a metabolic inflammatory organ that is producing all these inflammatory substances that set a downward cascade into motion in the body. Most researchers would say when there is excessive body fat around the mid-section, it creates a lot of hormones that can disrupt other hormones and create inflammatory chemicals. These inflammatory chemicals are bad for the brain, cardiovascular system, and we now know that they are also a risk factor for cancer.



To measure abdominal (mid-section) obesity, you have to determine your waist to height ratio. The way to do that is to measure your waist, and then your height. Your waist should be less than half, or .5, of your height. If it isn’t, then you are considered abdominally obese. Adipose fat is directly related to 13 different cancers. Hormones like estrogen, insulin, and leptin create a cascade of inflammation in the body.

Eventually year after year, those inflammatory chemicals will affect gene expression, thereby increasing your risk factor for cancer. There are specific genes that can be expressed that put you closer to cancer cell production. Dysregulation and inflammation of hormones, over time, will eventually start to change gene expression and cause cancer cells to grow. mTOR and  HDAC are just two of several gene expression messenger molecules that are disrupted when we have inflammatory chemicals produced by adipose fat.

This information is something that people need to put on their list since it is becoming one of the most significant risk factors for cancer. So be eager to decrease inflammation in your body by reducing adipose fat tissues. Hormones are at the top of the pyramid of things that are involved in fuel partitioning, and determine whether you are in a fat storing or a fat burning mode. It is important for people to know that being overweight is more than just about looks; it might increase your risk of developing over 13 different cancers including the most common ones. Become a fat burner to reduce your risk of cancer.


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