The Link Between Cancer and Sugar Just Grew Stronger
According to two cancer researchers interviewed by a highly esteemed newspaper, the verdict is in: Eating sugar can cause cancer. For decades, alternative medicine experts have been warning cancer patients to give up sugar. While the traditional medical community at large as well as the mainstream media does not hold to this view, more voices are being raised in concern as research increasingly shows an association between sugar and cancer.
A Mainstream Journalist Investigates the Toxicity of Sugar
One such voice is Gary Taubes, a journalist with The New York Times, whose in-depth investigation exploring the toxic effects of sugar found that it could sometimes induce insulin resistance. This effect is the fundamental problem underlying several maladies and may even be the instigator in many cancers. His scientific sources said if sugar is proven to be the agent causing insulin resistance, “the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least.”
Eating Sugar Increases Insulin, Which Feeds Cancer
Sugar appears to wield a two-edged sword. One side of the sword is that its consumption sometimes causes insulin resistance, a state that can cause cancer. The other side of the sword is that sugar causes your body to release insulin, a substance that feeds cancer.
Taubes spoke with Craig Thompson, President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who explained that the cells of many human cancers are dependent upon insulin to provide them with the fuel they need to grow. Many precancerous cells would not turn into malignant tumors if they were not being affected in such a manner by insulin, notes Thompson. “I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can because I believe ultimately it’s something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer,” he says.
The other prominent scientist interviewed by Taubes was Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School. Cantley relayed that as much as 80 percent of human cancers are driven by mutations or environmental factors that mimic or enhance the effect of insulin on tumor cells. In describing how he feels about the link between sugar and cancer he simply says, “Sugar scares me.”
The Link Between Sugar and Cancer Continues to Grow Stronger
Taubes’ investigative report was published in 2011, yet the evidence linking sugar with cancer continues to mount. In an August 1, 2013 issue of Cell, scientists studying fruit flies found that a high dietary intake of sugar caused localized tumors to grow aggressively and metastasize. The conclusion was that sugar fueled the activation of malignancies.
In September 2013, a research group of scientists working in tandem from opposite sides of the globe uncovered another fact incriminating sugar with cancer. Their finding builds on the discovery made in 1982 by American doctor Georg F. Springer that a certain sugar molecules are plentiful in cancer cells. Researchers from Singapore and the University of Copenhagen found that these types of sugar molecules are not only present in cancer but they actually aid the growth of malignant cells, causing the cancer to spread faster.
Since scientists are discovering how sugar affects human physiology, the admonitions to avoid it are no longer strictly confined to natural health practitioners. Although most allopathic practitioners currently do not condemn the judicious use of sugar, that stance may change in the future as researchers amass evidence of its toxicity.
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Article updated on: October 16th, 2013