A study carried out by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found out that obesity, rather than diet, was the main cause of change in colon which can lead to colorectal cancer. The study was done on mice in the NIH. The research was led by Paul Wade, Ph.D., and Thomas Eling, Ph.D., scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, and was first published in on the 1st of April, in an online journal that goes by the name of “Cell Metabolism.”
There is already a common belief in the scientific literary world that obese people are inclined towards becoming cancer patients, mainly colorectal cancer. To understand this study better, Dr. Wade and Dr. Eling fed two groups of mice a diet in which lard was the source of 60% of the calories contained. The first group had NAG-1, a gene which is also found in humans and which is, according to other rodent studies, effective in preventing colon cancer. The second group was devoid of the NAG-1 gene.
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The NAG-1 gene had prevented obesity in the first group of mice despite of the high-fat diet while the second group grew plump. “The obese mice exhibited molecular signals in their gut that led to the progression of cancer, but the NAG-1 mice didn’t have those same indicators,” Eling said. The additional weight seemed to increase the number genes which may trigger colorectal cancer progression, as the study of obese mice suggested.