A researcher is on his way to understanding the correlation in previous studies that have shown that obesity is linked to cancer.
University of Alberta researcher Richard Lamb is studying a cell pathway in the human body that regulates cell growth.
In their most recent work, Lamb and his colleagues have found that this pathway can be affected by sources not within the cell, specifically amino acid nutrients. Amino acids are the building blocks of tissues and muscle in the human body.
What makes this interesting is that these amino acids are found to be elevated in obese people.
That means this signaling pathway, called mTOR, could be hyper-activated by these heightened amino acid nutrients and this could affect how human cells respond to stress and disease among a number of other things.
Lamb and his colleagues will now investigate if cancer cells are aided by this potential hyper-activity of the pathway.
The work has been published in the prestigious journal Molecular Cell.