Thursday, January 7, 2016 11:42 pm
A scary health study has warned that diets high in sugar are a major risk factor for certain types of cancers, especially breast cancer.
A report on Fox News Health by Dr. David B. Samadi, states that the new study emanated from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Samadi, a board-certified urologic oncologist, is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
With the level of poverty in most parts of the world, especially in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, citizens mainly depend on foods high in sugar since they are cheap to purchase and believed to keep them moving for many hours of the day.
In the study, according to the report, researchers gave mice fructose and sucrose in amounts similar to what someone who follows a Western diet would consume.
These researchers then studied the mice that were genetically modified for breast cancer research and then placed them into four different groups with each group fed a different diet with various amounts of sugar until the mice were about six months old.
“After six months, results showed that a diet consisting of sugar levels similar to the typical Western diet caused an increase in tumour growth as well as the spread of lung cancer.
“Among the mice on a sucrose-enriched diet, 50 to 58 percent had developed mammary tumours, while only 30 percent of the mice on a non-sugar starch-based diet had developed measurable tumours,” the Fox News Health report stated adding that the researchers concluded that this is how sugar affects the inflammatory pathway that fuels cancer growth.
The report quoted study author Lorenzo Cohen, a professor of palliative rehabilitation and integrative medicine at the University of Texas as saying: “we determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumours.”
The report said the researchers investigated the mechanisms that may be involved in the growth and spread of tumours in the mice on the sugar diets.
The result of the study was that sugar increases the growth of an enzyme called 12-LOX and a fatty acid called 12-HETE in breast cancer cells. Apart from this, the researchers also found that fructose increased the risk of the production of 12-HETE in breast tumors as well as the spread of cancer to the lungs. Sugar is also known to be the major cause of diabetes.
Here, the main sugar culprit is fructose, or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is mostly used by food companies in many foods labelled as “low-fat” to make up for the lack of taste due to less fat. The report says this HFCS can never be a healthy alternative. This new report is considered unique because it is the first research that looks at the direct effect of sugar consumption on the development of cancer in animals, the report stated.
“Normal cells require sugar, which produces insulin. However, when there is too much sugar in the pancreas, it becomes exhausted. “This can lead to insulin resistance, which is also known as diabetes.
“With regards to cancer, there is not much evidence that sugar causes cancer. But what has been found is a strong association between the two. Cancer cells have receptors called insulin growth factors, which cancer cells can use to spread cancer.
“Excess sugar goes to the liver, which is then metabolized. When there is an overload of sugar in the liver, it is converted to fat. This causes a buildup of belly fat and cytokines, which can increase your risk for cancer,” the report said adding that the researchers are thus advising a diet with low sugar. It is a known fact that sugar also increases the risk of obesity and heart disease.
“It is important to be able to spot the hidden sugars in food, as this is where many people don’t realize their dietary mistakes lie. Sugar isn’t just found within ‘sugar’ on a food label.
“Sugar can be within a number of other ingredients such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, glucose, and dextrose.
“While it is unlikely you’ll be able to completely avoid sugar, it is possible to choose healthier, natural sugars such as agave nectar and honey. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided,” the report warned.