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Revealing the Connection Between Sugar and Cancer…Again

Elizabeth Renter
April 16th, 2013
Updated 05/08/2014 at 11:34 am
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sugarbrownbackground 263x164 Revealing the Connection Between Sugar and Cancer...AgainAn estimated 12.5 million people had some form of cancer in 2009, according to the American Cancer Society. Another 25.8 million have diabetes. These two preventable diseases are responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year. In the constant battle to stay healthy, many of us know that too much sugar in the blood can lead to diabetes and that by controlling our diets we can both prevent and even reverse the disease. But, could the same be said for cancer?

According to researchers, sugar and cancer are indeed connected.

The Sugar-Cancer Connection

Obesity and high blood sugar are risk factors for diabetes. And diabetics have an estimated double risk of suffering a colon or pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Scientists say that the two facts are connected and that blood sugar could play a role in the development of cancer.

In one study published in the journal Molecular Cell, a team of researchers under Dr. Custodia Garcia-Jimenez, have identified how sugar could directly increase the cancer risk.

During digestion, cells in the intestine identify sugar and tell the pancreas to release insulin (the hormone responsible for blood sugar regulation). The sugars in the digestive system do this with the use of a hormone called GIP which assists in the insulin release. Dr. Garcia-Jimenez found that a specific protein known as β-catenin controls the ability of the intestines to release GIP and this protein is dependent on sugar levels.

“Increased activity of β-catenin is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal, a key step in early stages of cancer progression. The study demonstrates that high (but not normal) sugar levels induce nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and leads to cell proliferation. The changes induced on β-catenin, the molecules involved and the diversity of cancer cells susceptible to these changes are identified,” Science Daily reports.

Simplified: increased blood sugar levels could lead to increased production of this protein which is known to impact cancer risk.

“We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk,” said Dr. Garcia-Jimenez. “We are not investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk.”

Dr. Garcia-Jimenez went on to say something very simple and profound: “Changing diet is one of the easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money.” I’m sure everyone agrees with that one.

Experts agree, sugar is a health destroyer. And with the average person consuming 300% more sugar daily than recommended and kids taking in 7 trillion calories of sugar from sodas each year, it seems more important than ever to instill a new dietary lifestyle.

From around the web:

  • Hank

    My understanding is that he human cell needs sugar for the production of ATP or cell fuel. This article does not distinguish between simple sugars and complex/refined sugars. Yes eating cake and cookies and drinking cola is acid forming and not good for anyone whether they have cancer, diabetes, or not. However there are three simple sugars the body needs to thrive: Galactose(milk sugar), fructose(fruit sugar), and glucose(vegetable sugar). Galactose is no longer needed after two years of life as that is this time when humans should be weaned off mother’s milk. Humans also loose the enzymes to digest milk after this time. When the body is facing a threat like cancer or diabetes then fructose is the simple carb that it needs to repair and alkalize the cells. Yes one should eat raw fruit for the fructose. Not candy, corn syrup, etc.The human cell absorbs fructose without the need of insulin. If you “starve” cancer cells then you are starving all your cells. Not good when one is fighting to live. Also, what is the alternative one is to eat? high protein diet? high fat diet? That’s surely one way to have one’s cancer or diabetes flourish. This study goes against the nature of celluar biology…..cells need simple sugars to thrive.

  • Ahmed Bodhi

    Most of the time yeah but sometimes moderation is not the answer. Some things are just poisons i.e. simple sugars. Would you be moderate with killing people?

  • Ahmed Bodhi

    My mom gets non GMO sugar. Brand name starts with Z

  • Shelby-Jo

    Everything in moderation!

  • Stephanie

    Sugar is sugar. The body makes no distinction between them. So whether you’re eating bread or cane sugar, pure fruit juice or lactose, insulin levels respond the same and the effects on the body are the same. High insulin levels have been scientifically proven to cause heart disease as well-not saturated fats as previously and erroneously thought. The bottom line? Your body does not need carbs in any of its forms-especially simple carbs that immediately convert to glucose which cause diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.

  • Kate

    I tend to eat a lot of sugary foods and drink a lot of soda too. I'm trying my best to cut down my consumption because I'm aware of its ill-effects in the body.

  • japentz

    The question is, are they talking about Cane sugar, beet sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup. And have the crops that go into each been genetically modified like Monsanto does? This article shows a picture of obviously "cane" sugar, yet the report does not make that distinction. More people are diabetic due to processed foods which all contain High Fructose Corn Syrup made with genetically modified corn which has been known to cause cancer. I think this report needs to go deeper and examine all aspects of this problem. HFCS is the culprit for the mass epidemic of cancer, let alone diabetes.