Male Health News December 2015

Cancer largely due to environmental factors, says studysmoking-1026559_1920

A new study has suggested that 70 – 90% of cancers are due to external factors, rather than luck or how the body operates.

Reported by BBC News, the study published in Nature suggests that cancer mostly results from extrinsic (i.e. external, environmental influences on the body) rather than intrinsic (i.e. how the body operates) factors. As summarised by the Telegraph, researchers from the Stony Brook Cancer Centre in New York found that “if random mutations were to blame, there would be far fewer cases of cancer they there actually are”. Dr Yusuf Hannun, Director of Stony Brook said: “People can’t hid behind bad luck. They can’t smoke and say it’s bad luck if they have cancer”.

This study puts even greater onus on the need for individuals to minimise their risks of cancer. While not all extrinsic risks have been identified, and many risks may be unavoidable on an individual basis (such as pollution within the air), this study suggests an even greater responsibility for men to know their risks and minimise them. Eating a poor diet, smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, or failing to do regular physical activity are a few of the key factors which are associated with a greater risk of many cancers, as well as other big killers such as heart disease. If you’re worried about your risk of cancer, please see our information pages for help and links to support.

(18th December 2015)


A man’s weight could affect his sperm cells

sperm-956480_1920A Danish study’s results have suggested that obese men could pass on a predisposition towards obesity in their sperm.

As reported by BBC News Online, a University of Copenhagen-led study researched the sperm cells of both thin and obese men over the course of five years. Following weight-loss surgery, the researchers identified changes in the sperm, specifically “epigenetic changes”, which could change how “a gene expresses itself in the body.” While more research would be needed to determine exactly the effect of these changes, the sperm cell changes have been associated with the genes related to appetite control.

Dr Barres, from the Unversity of Copenhagen was quoted by the Independent:

“It’s common knowledge that when a woman is pregnant she should take care of herself – not drink alcohol, stay away from pollutants, etc – but if the implication of our study holds true, then recommendations should be directed towards men, too.”

There are a wide range of benefits to keeping a healthy weight rather than being overweight or obese. If you are looking to lose weight, for whatever reason, there is support available to help you along – why not check out NHS Choices resources and take some positive steps today?

(11th December 2015)


Type 2 diabetes may be curable through weight loss

wordleA study at Newcastle University suggests that losing less than one gram of fat from the pancreas could reverse the disease.

As reported by the Telegraph, researches at Newcastle University undertook a small study involving 18 people with Type 2 diabetes, who were given gastric band surgery and an eight-week restricted diet. After the participants lost around 0.6 grams of fat from their pancreas (and 13% of their total body weight), normal insulin production resumed, reversing their diabetes. The research team plans a larger, two-year study with Glasgow University involving 200 participants.

However, Dr Alasdair Rankin, Diabetes UK Director of Research urged caution: “while a gram of fat doesn’t sound like much, you would need to lose a lot of body weight just to lose this small amount of fat in your pancreas”. However, Dr Rankin confirmed this study “highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy weight to prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes.”

Type 2 diabetes affects millions of people in the UK, usually appearing in people over the age of 40. You are more at risk of developing the condition if you eat a poor, unbalanced diet and do minimal physical activity. If you are worried about your risk of diabetes, please check out our information pages. Diabetes UK also provides a wealth of information and practical support.

(4th December 2015)