Sugar + Cancer =???
If you’ve spent any amount of time on Facebook or alternative health sites, you’ve probably encountered this theory.
Eating sugar leads to cancer...or sugar is absolutely essential for sustaining cancer growth.
As I do more and more research on the subject I'm beginning to believe that is true.
One of the experts in the area, Dr. Sircus has some great things to say on the subject...and our shared belief the consumption of too much refined sugar is related to most cancer development is being confirmed by research all the time.
Like the study out of The University of Texas at Dallas that showed a certain kind of cancer cell thrives off the consumption of sugar.
In this groundbreaking study, researchers discovered that in some cases, certain kinds of cancer cells literally depend on sugar for survival.
If your first impression upon reading that is something like “eating lollipops fuels cancer growth,” then you’re not that far off.
In their study, they were trying to see how two different kinds of non-small cell lung cancers- adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC), responded to blood sugar.
In the study, they noticed that (SqCC) cancer possessed high amounts of a protein structure that actively pulled blood sugar into the cell for the purposes of growth.
The protein, called glucose transporter 1, or GLUT1, snags the sugar out of your blood and then uses it to fuel the cells, which causes tumor growth.
This same protein is found in your body’s normal cells, but in this case, the cancer cell uses blood sugar to energize a tumor’s expansion...and not your body.
SqCC was entirely reliant on sugar for energy. On the other hand, the opposing non-small cell cancer (ADC) was not reliant on sugar.
Which is somewhat perplexing and demonstrates we’re still a long way off from learning how to beat cancer for good.
As Dr. Jung-whan "Jay" Kim, said in the article featured in Nature Communication.
"Prior to this study, it was thought that the metabolic signatures of these two types of lung cancers would be similar, but we realized that they are very different," Kim said. "These findings lend credence to the idea that cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases that have very different characteristics."
To ensure their findings were correct, the researchers gave mice with SqCC GLUT1 inhibitors (meaning the protein was no longer able to use the sugar as fuel) and discovered the cancers began to shrink without their fuel source.
The ADC continued to grow, however.
One other note was that the team noticed this wasn’t just for the SqCC. They also “found that GLUT1 levels were much higher in four other types of squamous cell cancer: head and neck, esophageal and cervical.”
So what does that mean? Does eliminating sugar mean you’ll be able to fight cancer better?
Yes and no.
As you learned, sugar only fed some kinds of cancers, and not others.
And we still don’t know how effective cutting sugar would be at halting the growth of these tumors.
This ultimately means sugar might not be the main culprit here.
That being said, eliminating processed and refined sugars from your diet is probably going to be one of the best things anyone can do to help prevent the growth of cancers.
Hopefully, this research continues to help us figure out new ways to negate cancer growth through diet.