How Are Metabolism and Breast Cancer Linked?

Metabolism and Cancer

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, ‘how healthy is my metabolism?’ When most of us think of metabolism, we think of weight loss and weight gain, but do you think of breast cancer? I would venture a guess that most of us don’t think breast cancer and metabolism have anything in common, but research shared from Genes & Development reveals what that connection is.


First, What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the process by which your body uses energy and burns calories. It works around the clock to keep your body moving, even when you are at rest, by converting the food and nutrients you eat into the energy your body requires to breathe, circulate blood, grow and repair cells, and, well, survive, according to Harvard University.  How fast your metabolism works is determined primarily by your genes.

“A slow metabolism burns fewer calories, which means more get stored as fat in the body; that’s why some people have difficulty losing weight by just cutting calories. A fast metabolism burns calories at a quicker rate, which explains why some people can eat a lot and not gain extra pounds,” Harvard said.


Metabolism and Cancer

Metabolism generates oxygen radicals, which contribute to cancer mutations. Activated oncogenes, genes that can transform a cell into a tumor cell (and loss of tumor suppressors)  can alter metabolism and result in a high rate of glucose fermentation to cancer.

“Together with glutamine, glucose via glycolysis provides the carbon skeletons, NADPH, and ATP to build new cancer cells, which persist in hypoxia that in turn rewires metabolic pathways for cell growth and survival,” Genes & Development said.


Too Many Calories Put You at a Higher Risk for Cancer

If your metabolism isn’t working as it should, your body isn’t able to process what you eat appropriately which can cause oxidative stress, mutated enzymes and cancer. Getting the help you need to return your metabolism to balance while also commencing healthy eating and exercise can sound like a daunting task. We can help!


Factors that Affect Metabolism

  • Weight loss. After losing a significant amount of weight, metabolism generally slows down, making it hard to keep weight off.
  • High intensity interval training or weight training.  Since the body needs more energy to maintain muscle, building muscle can fire-up your metabolism so it works for you even after your workout is over. High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has also been shown to boost metabolism much more than steady-state cardio.
  • Overtraining/too much exercise. The body is a great machine, but even it has its limits. If you push too hard, your body enters an inflammatory, stressed state which can send your hormones out of balance and disturb your metabolism.  To work appropriately, your metabolism requires that you let your body rest.
  • Stress. chronic stress is linked to long-term fat storage, a slower metabolism and weight gain.
  • Water consumption. How well you are hydrated is crucial for supporting a healthy metabolism. In fact, research shows that drinking 500ml of water can increase metabolic rate by 30 percent. Water helps your body metabolize food and also helps with overeating (since thirst is often mistaken for hunger).


Discover How Healthy Your Metabolism Is

If you take hormone replacement  therapy make sure you are “healthy metabolizer”. The way our bodies breakdown and clear out estrogens is unique to each individual depending on diet, nutritional status, gut health, genetics and more.  Testing can reveal if you are a higher risk or a poor metabolizer. Don’t assume you metabolize estrogen in a healthy way without testing.


Call for a Consultation

Taking steps now to ensure your body is operating as it should can save you from a myriad of diseases and conditions, including breast cancer.  At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare we help you develop personal risk assessments and treatment plans. Schedule an adult health screening today and protect yourself from breast cancer. Call us at 970-631-8286 today!