Monday, February 8, 2010

Sugar and cancer

I've had lots of stuff here before about sugary diets and cancer - for example this here.

I usually post the simple science, the idea being that starving cancers of sugar can kill them. Other cells can be fuelled in other means but tumours need sugar, so if you cut off the supply then they struggle to grow:

unlike healthy cells, which generate energy by metabolizing sugar in their mitochondria, cancer cells appeared to fuel themselves exclusively through glycolysis, a less-efficient means of creating energy through the fermentation of sugar in the cytoplasm. The theory is simple: If most aggressive cancers rely on the fermentation of sugar for growing and dividing, then take away the sugar and they should stop spreading. Meanwhile, normal body and brain cells should be able to handle the sugar starvation; they can switch to generating energy from fatty molecules called ketone bodies — the body's main source of energy on a fat-rich diet — an ability that some or most fast-growing and invasive cancers seem to lack.

Asclepius posted this morning about a new bit of research doing the rounds:

Soft drink consumption may increase risk of pancreatic cancer

Consuming two or more soft drinks per week increased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by nearly twofold compared to individuals who did not consume soft drinks, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Although relatively rare, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly, and only 5 percent of people who are diagnosed are alive five years later.

Mark Pereira, Ph.D., senior author on the study and associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said people who consume soft drinks on a regular basis, defined as primarily carbonated sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to have a poor behavioral profile overall.

However, the effect of these drinks on pancreatic cancer may be unique.

"The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," said Pereira.

That is pretty scary - 2 or more a week.....


Anonymous said...

It would certainly be scary to have pancreatic cancer, but I'm not too scared of getting it. Consider the number of new 2006 UK cancer cases from
Pancreatic cancer: 7,660
"All" (except the 80,000 skin cancers that probably won't be deadly): 293,601
And the study was based on a small number of cases and they admit it's hard to blame soft drinks in particular. I'm still scared of soft drinks, but not so much because of this study.

Sheryl Blystone said...

I totally agree, all the research points to sugar as feeding tumor growth and causing cancer to aggressively spread. After reading Gary Tuabes' Good Calories, Bad Calories I have quite consuming sugar, bread, grains, and the like. Instead, I eat a primal diet of bacon, eggs, all meats, and vegetables... classic primal foods. I've dropped about 8 lbs of fat, gained strength in my workouts, and have more energy than ever. It's funny because my co-workers have a hard time keeping up with me in EMS.

Anonymous said...

My father died of pancreatic cancer 10 years ago. He ate a lot of white bread, alcohol and other processed simple sugars throughout his life.
I have been looking for a link nutritionally, thank you so much for this information!
I really need to deal with my own addiction to sugar as I fear going down the road he went on.
This information has scared me to quitting simple sugars for good!

cheap viagra said...

This information is priceless, I wasn't aware of the lethal correlation between these two.

MyraSaidIt said...

I have realized for many years that refined sugars are unhealthy.
Sugars are "hiding" from the consumer in prepared foods under several assumed names.
Sugar gives us no nutrients and takes away our immunity which opens the door for all sorts of health problems.
I have begun a series of articles on the subject, on my site.