A recent study shows that sugar may fuel the growth of existing cancer. And not just any type of sugar, either — in fact, it all comes down to fructose.
The findings, published in the journal Cancer Research, support studies that suggest people who consume more sugar have a higher risk of cancer — especially breast cancer.
"A lot of patients are told it doesn't matter what you eat after you are diagnosed with cancer. This preliminary animal research suggests that it does matter," said Lorenzo Cohen of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who worked on the study.
Cohen's team found that fructose in particular affects a metabolic process, or pathway, called 12-LOX, that helps cells metastasize, or spread. Cohen also said that the majority of cancer patients don't die from their primary tumor, but instead from the spread of the cancer (metastatic disease).
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The study used mice that were genetically predisposed to breast cancer just as humans are, and they were fed a sugary diet similar to the amount of sugar in the average American's diet.
The mice were fed four different diets, either a diet full of sugar or starches. By the end of 6 months, 30 percent of the mice fed a starchy diet had breast cancer, but half of the mice fed a sugary diet had breast cancer.
For more details on the study and its findings, click here.
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