High Insulin Levels Linked to Pancreatic Cancer: Study

High insulin levels are directly linked to pancreatic cancer, a new study suggests.

High insulin levels are common among people who have type 2 diabetes and obesity—two conditions that are known risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

The new study from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada sheds light on how insulin and its receptors play a role in the development of pancreatic cancer, and therefore how type 2 diabetes and obesity ties into the picture.

According to the study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, high insulin levels overstimulate pancreatic acinar cells—the cells in the pancreas that create, store, and release digestive enzymes for breaking down high-fat foods. The overstimulation leads to inflammation, eventually turning these cells into precancerous cells.

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