Obsession many people to sugar has been linked to many chronic diseases in recent years, including some types of cancer.
Is it true that a person's sugar increases the risk of cancer? Here is a summary of some of the latest research and explanations of Carrie Daniel MacDougall, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Scientists have long examined the relationship between sugar with various types of cancer. Some of them affect organs that are directly involved in the metabolism of sugars (such as the liver and pancreas), while the rest are not.
A Swedish study published recently found that people who drank two or more servings of soda and sugary drinks every day, have a higher risk of developing cancer of gallbladder and biliary tract, compared with those who do not or rarely drink soda and sweet drinks.
There is also a study published in March, which was written by Daniel MacDougall, stating that people who are accustomed to eating food glycemic indexed high or simple carbohydrates like white bread, potatoes, and white rice, are more likely to get lung cancer than those who eat a little high glycemic indexed foods.
This study does not focus directly on the candy, table sugar (sugar) and desserts. But these foods fall into the category of high glycemic indexed.
Another study from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, showed that there is a relationship between a diet high in sugar with breast cancer.
When the researchers divided the mice into four groups and give them all the different diets, researchers found that rats who ate more sucrose or fructose (both are types of simple sugar), is more at risk of suffering from tumors and breast cancer.
In fact, the faster the tumor spread to the lungs than mice that gets most of the carbohydrate from starchy foods.
How sugar can lead to cancer?
As we know, sugar is fuel for cancer cells. In fact, the actual sugar is fuel for all cells in the body.
Sugars are simple carbohydrates. When you eat, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps convert sugar into energy for your cells.
Eating too much sugar can cause the body to become resistant to insulin. In addition, the body will produce more of the hormone IGF (insulin-like growth factor).
"IGF these seem to stimulate growth and inhibit cancer cell death," said Daniel-MacDougall.
A diet high in sugar also contribute to inflammation throughout the body, which can cause cell damage and promote tumor growth and cancer. We also know sugar can lead to weight gain.
"When you eat foods that are high in sugar or high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, you will experience a surge of insulin and the body will store more energy as fat," said Daniel-MacDougall.
"We know that obesity is a major cause of cancer. Therefore, reduce your cancer risk by managing your weight and limit their intake of sugar."
Not all sugars and starches are bad. In fact, we still need them to be able to function as a healthy human being. Selection of the type of sugar and the right portion is the key.
Foods with natural sugars (such as fruit and dairy products) and complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains and legumes), will provide calories, vitamins, minerals and nutrients for the body. While fiber, useful for helping you feel better faster and longer satiety.
"Some people live a low-carbohydrate diet very closely. We do not know how effective it is in preventing cancer," said Daniel-MacDougall.
Most importantly, according to Daniel MacDougall, is finding a healthy diet that works for you and apply it in the long run.
Daniel MacDougall added, "If you really want to lower the risk of cancer, you need to take a diversified approach," he said.
"Consumption of foods containing high-quality nutrients, maintain a healthy weight, and avoiding empty-calorie foods."