A new study has found a link between excessive consumption of sugar and cancer risk. Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that a high sucrose and fructose diet, increases the risk of lung and breast cancer.
Researchers studied mice predisposed to breast cancer, and found that those fed more sugar had bigger tumors, compared to those fed less sugar or starch. Four different studies were conducted, in which mice are categorized into different dietary groups and fed one of the four diets.
Study author Lorenzo Cohen of the University of Texas M.D Anderson Cancer Center noted that the lowest dose the mice were fed was 9 teaspoons of sugar a day while the highest dose was 37 teaspoons a day.
“We were very careful in our research to expose the animals to the equivalent standard sugar doses of what humans consume,” said Cohen. He said:
“The current study investigated the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in multiple mouse models, along with mechanisms that may be involved. We determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors.”
According to Dana-Farber Cancer Center, several studies have shown the link between high dietary sugar and several types of cancer. Fructose, found in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, increased lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors. Cohen added that either form of sugar induced 12-LOX and 12-HETE production in breast tumor cells, but he stressed on the need for further research to find if sugar has direct or indirect effect on tumor growth.
Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that the daily intake of sugar to be reduced from 10 percent to below five percent (6 teaspoons). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the average American consumes about 19.5 grams of sugar (82 grams) every day. Studies have also shown that a high sugar diet can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and heart disease, but cutting down can lower blood pressure and sugar levels in a few days. The study has been published in the journal Cancer.