Why does excess weight boost the risk of some cancers? One possibility, extra pounds are linked to the growth of blood vessels that allow tumors to expand.

Scientists randomly assigned roughly 440 overweight or obese healthy women aged 50 to 75 to one of four groups:  a low-calorie diet, aerobic exercise, diet plus exercise, or a control. The exercise groups averaged 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise five days a week.

After one year, the diet-plus-exercise and diet-only groups had lower blood levels of markers of blood vessel growth like (VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) than the control group. Exercise alone didn’t lower those levels, possibly  because it led to less weight loss.

What to do:  Want to lose weight and lower your risk of cancer? Cutting calories is essential. Adding exercise may help, and-bonus!-it should also kick up your health a notch.

Source: Nutrition Action Health Letter March 2017