Submitted to: Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2011
Publication Date: 3/19/2011
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58090
Citation: Zeng, H., Lazarova, D.L. 2011. Obesity-related colon cancer: dietary factors and their mechanisms of anticancer action. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 39:161-167. Interpretive Summary: Colon cancer accounts for approximately 50,000 deaths each year in the United States, and it is predicted that half of the Western population will develop at least one colorectal tumor by age of 70. Overweight/obesity is now established as a risk factor (second only to smoking) for cancer. Overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI =30 kg/m2) have reached epidemic proportions, affecting two-thirds of Americans and an estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide. These conditions increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. There is increasing epidemiological evidence for association between obesity and colon cancer. Thus, the elucidation of the mechanisms by which dietary anticancer factors exert their chemopreventive property will be essential in formulating diet-based preventive strategies against obesity-related colon cancer. This article reviews the status of knowledge concerning dietary factors and their mechanisms of anticancer action in the context of obesity-promoted colon cancer risk. The information will be useful information for scientists and health-care professionals who are interested in nutrition and cancer prevention.
Technical Abstract: Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and in other developed countries. Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions, affecting two-thirds of Americans and an estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide. These conditions increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Epidemiological studies have established a strong association between obesity and colon cancer. It is generally accepted that metabolic changes associated with overweight/obesity, particularly abdominal obesity and changes in adipocyte function, contribute to the increased risk of colon cancer. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this association is important for the development of preventive strategies for colon cancer. Part of these preventive strategies might be based upon dietary factors such as vitamins, minerals (e.g., selenium), fiber, phytochemicals and phenolic compounds. These anticancer nutrients may counteract the molecular changes associated with obesity. This article reviews the evidence that inflammation and insulin resistance induced by obesity are the molecular mediators of the association between obesity and colon cancer. We also evaluate the evidence for the ability of dietary factors to target the obesity-induced changes and thus, protect against colon cancer.