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Amidst the various fatal diseases that claim millions of lives worldwide every year cancer hold a special place. Various forms of cancer kill plenty of men and women and studies are going on to find the causes of cancer and find suitable remedies. Despite the conflicting theories on its role behind the onset of cancer, a new study finding suggests that consuming sugar can actually pave way to cancer growth. However, not all types of sugar lead to the growth of cancer, as per the study findings.
How Does Sugar Affect Cancer Cells?
As per the study revelations, tests carried out on rodents indicate the pattern of cancer formation after consumption of excessive fructose. The findings, now available in the Cancer Research journal corroborate other study findings that indicate People with excess sugar intake face increased risks of cancer. They are more susceptible to breast cancer.
Earlier studies have indicated excess sugar consumption leads to cancer. This study focuses on how cancer growth gets a boost when you intake a particular type of sugar. The researchers think the consumption of fructose can make you susceptible to cancer and fuels its growth.
University of Texasâ€™s Dr Lorenzo Cohen, who was a part of this study said, â€œA lot of patients are told it doesnâ€™t matter what you eat after you are diagnosed with cancer. This preliminary animal research suggests that it does matterâ€. The study findings also reveal how adhering to the western style diet enhances the risk of cancer in humans. Of course, cancer is caused by some lifestyle choices too.
People consume sugar from various sources as it is and not all of them are risky from this perspective. Sugar is used to make food, beverages and snacks. As you eat fresh fruits and vegetables that lead to sugar intake too. Research shows refined sugar is the riskiest variant. The fact is, the human body utilizes glucose- another form of sugar to produce energy.
Cohenâ€™s team discovered that fructose intake leads to cancerous cell growth. Cohen said a lot of cancer patients actually do not succumb owing to the primary tumor. They succumb owing to metastatic disease. This finding actually supports what many other researchers have said about cancer patients. The theory of patients eating more sugary foods developing advanced cancer seems to be correct.
While Cohenâ€™s team carried out the tests on mice, they ensured the required steps are involved so that the process resembles what happens in advanced mammals. They offered sugar doses to mice similar to what people in the USA eat per day.
The mice were fed 4 types of diet to find out their impact on cancerous cell growth. About 30 percent of mice that were fed starch-rich diet developed cancer while 50 percent of mice fed extra sucrose were diagnosed to have breast tumor. The researchers also saw the more sugar was fed, larger the tumors grew. The mice were fed these diets and they were observed for a span of 6 months.
Cohen thinks the intake of fructose fuels tumor growth and spread. Eventually, in taking any form of sugar can fuel tumor growth, but eating fructose brings the most accelerated effect. However, the study cannot clearly indicate why and how this happens in the body.
The study findings may sound alarming and it also raises the question of how much sugar consumption is safe and should people actually avoid fructose altogether? Cohen and his team feel in recent past, fructose consumption in Western countries and the USA has gone up significantly. This is mostly caused by the use of high-fructose corn syrup in my ready-made beverages and table sugar.
The theory does not however go down well with trade groups belonging to the food and beverage industry. They argue fructose is safe for humans and even some fruits contain fructose naturally.
Cohen feels fructose consumption is not harmful, but the amount is what you should watch out for. Just like oxygen, excess fructose intake can lead to health issues like cancerous cell growth. Fruit derived fructose also has nutrients and fiber. The fructose used in sweetened soft drinks has only sugar, but no other nutrient.
This is not the first study to highlight the negative effects of consuming too much sugar. Apart from its role behind the growth and the onset of cancer, sugar has been slammed for causing a number of severe health ailments. Sugar consumption in excess amount leads to the accelerated growth of Alzheimerâ€™s disease, diabetes and several heart-related complications. The researchers, therefore, have reached the conclusion that overall sugar intake, limiting is what every individual should do.