Frequent fliers can have same cancer risk as obese people as ‘Jet lag’ increases bile acid in the liver

Posted on: 24th November 2016

The Trust's Chief Executive, Andrew Langford is quoted in an article recently published of a study by the Baylor College of Medicine into the effects on health of frequent travel and working shift patterns.

The study suggests frequent fliers could have the same cancer risk as obese people. Jet lag drastically raises one's risk of liver cancer by driving up bile acid levels in the liver, creating buildup akin to that seen in organs of clinically overweight people.

Researchers also point to the spike in people jet-setting as a reason for the rocketing rates of liver cancer across the world. The study by Baylor College of Medicine builds on a growing swell of research that disrupting the circadian rhythm (or, the body clock) can have potentially fatal ramifications for your health.

Andrew Langford, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, hailed the study as a necessary step in liver cancer research. 

'There is a chronic underinvestment in research into liver cancer compared with many other types of cancer so it is great to see new findings being published,' he said.

'We know that previous research has raised concerns that working in shifts or being exposed to light at night could increase the risk of metabolic disease. This study suggests a specific link with liver cancer and it is an interesting first step looking into this area. Much further substantial research would be needed before we advise people to make any relevant lifestyle changes.'

Read more in the full Daily Mail article