T Nation

Research: Body Comp/Cal. Intake

This goes contrary to what so many waifish “low-calorie” people have been preaching lately. Of course its just one study, but their findings made me smile.

The study abstract: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/67/1/417

[quote]
These results imply that the ability of calorie restriction to inhibit or delay cancer incidence and progression is mediated in part by changes in energy balance, body mass, and/or body composition rather than calorie intake per se, suggesting that excess calorie retention, rather than consumption, confers cancer risk.[/quote]

[quote]BlakeAE wrote:
This goes contrary to what so many waifish “low-calorie” people have been preaching lately. Of course its just one study, but their findings made me smile. [/quote]

More to the point the study suggests that the “low calorie diet” reduce cancer risk by effecting body composition, body mass, and/or energy balance, rather than just because they are low calorie in nature. So, I’m not sure how this is contrary to what low cal’ people are saying. It seems to suggest an explanation of the effect seen by “low cal” diets in this animal model.

what I often hear or read from proponents of the low calorie diet is that a high-calorie diet, such as that followed by anyone trying to put on mass, or perhaps any high-level athlete, puts you at greater risk of cancer, or increases the rate of cancer, compared to a low calorie diet.

This study suggests that it isn’t the calorie consumption, but what the body does with it. A lean athlete eating 6000 kcals per day would be at no greater risk than the waif eating 1200kcals per day, and would have all the additional benefits of being an athlete.

I’m not turning it around to say that low-cal diets are bad or ineffective, they just don’t offer any benefits compared to a high-cal diet and healthy lifestyle with proper training and body-composition management.

Until now I was under the impression that a higher calorie diet and high metabolism could actually put a person at great cancer risk.

I did a quick search and found this:

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Low_Calorie_Diet_May_Help_Reduce_Prostate_Cancer_Risk.asp

[quote]
Compared to men who ate the fewest calories, those who ate the most calories had more than double the chance of being diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. They were also almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.[/quote]

Here’s another one more focused on high-protein and IGF-1 linked to cancer but they recommend low-cal low protein diet to reduce risk:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/07/AR2006120700845.html

And finally, here’s one stating basically what my take was on the original:

Sorry for the long posts… :slight_smile:

No need to apologize! Thanks for posting this information. We can only hope that this will lead to further studies on the matter.

Most of what was found so far I’ve thought might be the case to myself for some time (that what is done with the calories matters more than overall intake).

I’m no expert, but isn’t there a possibility that the “high calorie diets” these people had were inherently unhealthy? Generally when 90% of the population eats a “high calorie diet”, it is because of fast food, soft drinks, and junk food - am I right? These people also tend to be obese.

What I’m trying to say is that unless I’m wrong (which is a possibility), the people in the “high calorie diet” pool probably aren’t stuffing their faces with grilled chicken and broccoli. Adversely, the “low calorie diet” subjects probably don’t base their nutrition around a bag of potato chips and a couple slices of bacon every day.