It’s no big secret that fat cells produce estrogen. This is, in part, why men and women who struggle to maintain an optimal weight may have greater difficulty keeping their hormones in check. As fat cells grow bigger from a high-carb diet, they produce more estrogen, which then drives more fat storage. This vicious cycle makes it incredibly difficult to shed that unwanted weight.
But scientists have found yet another reason to get the weight off and keep it off. In recent months, researchers have discovered a link between long-term sustained weight loss and a decreased risk of breast cancer. This correlation likely has to do with a reduction of those fat-cell-promoting estrogens running around in the body.
As one of the leading health challenges facing women today, breast cancer tops the list, affecting nearly one out of every two women nationwide. All things considered, those aren’t very good odds. The correlation between a healthy diet, breast storage of iodine, and vitamin D levels in maintaining optimal breast health is well-known, but in women over 50, it seems that maintaining optimal weight can also be highly protective.
A study involving 180,000 women found that women who lost four to ten pounds, compared to women whose weight remained stable, showed a 13% reduction of breast cancer risk. Those that lost ten to twenty pounds had a 16% risk reduction. But the most significant change was seen in women who lost twenty pounds or more – their risk dropped to 26% compared to the control group.
So for women over 50, it might be time to get serious about joining a yoga studio or finding a walking buddy to start shedding those unwanted pounds. At the end of the day, trading in excess fat cells for a reduced risk of breast cancer seems like a good exchange!