Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-54  

Dietary factors and cancer chemoprevention: An overview of obesity-related malignancies

NS Murthy1, S Mukherjee2, G Ray3, A Ray4 
1 National Cancer Registry Programme (ICMR), New BEL Road, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Bio-medical Sciences, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Atlantic Research Center, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
4 Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN 55912, USA

Correspondence Address:
A Ray
Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN 55912

Obesity is a growing health problem in developed nations and in countries that are in the process of westernization like India. Obesity is linked with several health disorders such as hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and certain cancers. Currently, obesity-related malignancies, e.g., cancers of the breast, prostate and colon are the leading cancers in the industrialized societies. An increased amount of fat or adipose tissue in an overweight or obese person probably influences the development of cancer by releasing several hormone-like factors or adipokines. The majority of adipokines are pro-inflammatory, which promote pathological conditions like insulin resistance and cancer. On the other hand, many recent studies have shown that adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory adipokine, has anti-cancer and insulin-sensitizing effects. Adiponectin exerts its physiological functions chiefly by activation of AMP kinase via adiponectin receptors. Interestingly, several fruits and vegetables may contain adiponectin-like molecules or may increase the biosynthesis of adiponectin in our body. Studies on adiponectin analogues or adiponectin receptor agonists are a promising area of cancer chemoprevention research. In general, fruits and vegetables contain various dietary substances such as vitamins, minerals (like calcium and selenium), fiber and phytochemicals or phenolic compounds (like flavonoids and vanilloids), which may act as anti-cancer agents. Similarly, several dietary constituents including phytochemicals may have anti-obesity effects. Consumption of such dietary compounds along with caloric restriction and physical activity may be helpful in preventing obesity-related cancers. For this review article, we searched PubMed primarily to get the relevant literature.

How to cite this article:
Murthy N S, Mukherjee S, Ray G, Ray A. Dietary factors and cancer chemoprevention: An overview of obesity-related malignancies.J Postgrad Med 2009;55:45-54

How to cite this URL:
Murthy N S, Mukherjee S, Ray G, Ray A. Dietary factors and cancer chemoprevention: An overview of obesity-related malignancies. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2009 [cited 2020 Oct 22 ];55:45-54
Available from:;year=2009;volume=55;issue=1;spage=45;epage=54;aulast=Murthy;type=0

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