Excessive amount of sugar leads to many health issues and a new research has found a link between high consumption of sugar and cancer risk. As per a new study by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, taking western diet rich in sucrose and fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, levels increases the risk of developing breast and lung cancer. The current research project checked how sugar might fuel the growth of cancer and the study team found that impact of fructose is even higher.
Most of us love to eat chocolates, cakes and pastries and other food items with high fructose and sucrose content, but one way or the other our taste is causing harm to our body. The research conducted on mice helped researchers to know that diet rich in sucrose and fructose encourages breast tumor growth. You must be thing that sugar is essential for the generation of energy in human body, then how come it could be the cause for the growth of cancer? The study shows that refined sugar and fructose affects the body differently.
According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, many studies conducted in past have shown link between dietary sugar and several types of cancer. Some studies have even shown link between sugar and inflammation that leads to development of cancer. Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, a professor of palliative, rehabilitation, and integrative medicine at MD Anderson, said researchers studied the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in multiple mouse models. Surprisingly, researchers found fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors.
During the research period, mice were fed with four different levels of sucrose and fructose rich diets. Researchers found development of mammary tumors in about 50 to 58% of mice by the time they reached six months old. On the other hand, about 30% of mice on a starch-control diet had measurable tumors at the same age. Researchers even found more lung metastases among mice fed diets higher in fructose or sucrose compared to those given a starch-control diet. Dr. Peiying Yang, an assistant professor of palliative, rehabilitation, and integrative medicine at MD Anderson, said “However, the inflammatory cascade may be an alternative route of studying sugar-driven carcinogenesis that warrants further study”.
According to a report published by Today magazine, “The findings add one more piece of evidence to a growing body of science that is showing a Western style diet is a major risk factor for many types of cancer. Other research has shown that at least two-thirds of all cases of cancer come down to lifestyle choices: tobacco use, an unhealthful diet and a lack of exercise.”
Cohen's team used mice for their study but say they took many steps to make sure the process was as close as possible to what happens in people. They fed the mice sugar in doses very similar to what Americans eat every day and they used mice that are genetically predisposed to breast cancer in much the same way that many people are.
It's still not quite clear just how this happens and it's not clear how the LOX-12 pathway affects cancer, Cohen and colleague Peiying Yang said. But it appears fructose makes LOX-12 more active.
The implications for people are clear. Cohen notes that fructose consumption in the U.S. surged from about half a pound a person a year in 1970 to more than 62 pounds a year in 1997. That's mainly due to the broad use of high fructose corn syrup.
An average 12 ounce can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar. There are other reasons to minimize sugar. Other studies show sugar-heavy diets can fuel heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. But cutting sugar can lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels after only a few days.
Cohen said data from the study suggests either form of sugar induced 12-LOX and 12-HETE production in breast tumor cells, causing tumors to grow. He said, however, further research is needed to find whether sugar has a direct or indirect effect on tumor growth.
Between 50 and 58 percent of mice on a sucrose-enriched diet developed mammary tumors by the time they were six months old, but just 30 percent of mice on a starch-control diet had measurable tumors at the same age. There were also more lung metastases among mice fed diets higher in fructose or sucrose than in those given a starch-control diet, the researchers reported.