Monday, July 13, 2009

Insulin Resistance & Breast Cancer - No Surprise

Elevated levels of insulin in post-menopausal women bumps the risk of getting breast cancer up. Women with insulin levels in the top third had double the risk over women in the bottom third.

Research was conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University and published in the International Journal of Cancer. According to their press release:

"Since insulin is known to promote cell division and enhance breast tumor growth in animal models, the Einstein scientists reasoned that relatively high insulin levels may contribute to breast cancer risk in women...(and)...Notably, the link between elevated insulin level and breast cancer was strongest among lean women and weakest among obese women (who, in general, have higher insulin levels compared with lean women). “This finding is potentially important because it indicates that, in postmenopausal women, insulin may be a risk factor for breast cancer that is independent of obesity,” says Dr. Kabat. However, because the number of lean women was small, this finding is preliminary."

The study included 5450 participants who were followed over eight years.

Meanwhile, the correlation between insulin resistance and any disease is not surprising. Insulin resistance has been correlated to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cognitive disorders, and more.

There are supplements that are useful in maintaining glycemic health; however, in all honesty, diet and lifestyle changes are critical if we moderns (too sedentary, too many yummy treats available) are to avoid insulin resistance issues.

Diets high in protein and fiber help. And, exercise helps burn off stores of excess sugar in the old bloodstream. No wonder exercise is associated with maintaining mental fitness well into old age!

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