Cancer is a terrible and alarming epidemic.  One of two males will contract cancer in their lifetimes; one out of three women as well.  Yet despite the “efforts” of the American Cancer Society (ACS), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the disease known as cancer is NOWHERE near being close to being cured – or prevented.

The BILLIONS of dollars that are donated/raised by these “non profit organizations” has not yielded any measurable metric in terms of reducing the incidence of cancer in the past 50 years.  Cancer rates have SKYROCKETED since the 1950s and it’s only trending upward.  There is NO cure in sight and prevention methodologies are not ever promoted in helping reduce the incidence of cancer in our societies.  And it’s a real shame.

Sadly, there are known entities that are directly linked to causing cancer.  One of these components which is found in our daily diets is known as sugar – which after being digested is converted into glucose.  Without any reservation, sugar is the number one DEADLIEST FOOD ITEM in widespread consumption today.  Look at how the food industry thrives on sugar-laden products.  It’s largely due to the availability of such processed foods that America is as FAT as we are today.  This is another sad and disturbing trend – America is getting FATTER and FATTER and FATTER.  We are one of the FATTEST societies in the world, and it’s because of our unhealthful diet of sugar-enhanced products which cause this obesity epidemic.

Sugar is DEADLY … and it WILL kill you.

But getting back to sugar.  As I said, sugar is literally DEADLY.  It WILL KILL YOU if you eat enough of it.

Patrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CNS, former director of nutrition for Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, OK, wrote:

“It puzzles me why the simple concept ‘sugar feeds cancer’ can be so dramatically overlooked as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan” (Nutrition Science News, April 2000).

I agree.  Sugar is cancer’s favorite food.  There are at least five reasons that cancer and sugar are best friends.

1-Affinity

Cancer cells love sugar! That is why refined carbohydrates like white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and soft drinks are extremely dangerous for anyone trying to prevent or reverse cancer.  Sugar essentially feeds tumors and encourages cancer growth. Cancer cells uptake sugar at 10-12 times the rate of healthy cells.  In fact, that is the basis of PET (positive emission tomography) scans — one of the most accurate tools for detecting cancer growth.   PET scans use radioactively labeled glucose to detect sugar-hungry tumor cells.  When patients drink the sugar water, it gets preferentially taken up into the cancer cells and they light up! The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, PhD, discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. He found that malignant tumors exhibit increased glycolysis — a process whereby glucose is used as a fuel by cancer — as compared with normal cells. 

2-Acidity

Warburg also found that cancers thrive in an acidic environment. Sugar is highly acidic.  With a pH of about 6.4, it is 10 times more acidic than the ideal alkaline pH of blood at 7.4.

3-Immunity

Sugar suppresses a key immune response known as phagocytosis – the Pac-Man effect of the immune system.  Consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar can cause about a 50% reduction in phagocytosis.   If you consider the sugar in your cereal, the syrup on your waffles and pancakes, the sugar added to your morning coffee or tea, the sugar in cold beverages like iced tea or lemonade, the HFCS in prepared foods, salad dressing and ketchup, and of course sugary snacks and desserts, you can see how easy it is to suppress your immune systems significantly. Not only the amount of sugar, but also the frequency of ingesting sugar is relevant to immune function. In one study, research subjects were found to have nearly a 38% decrease in phagocytosis one hour after ingesting a moderate amount of sugar. Two hours later, the immune system was suppressed 44%; immune function did not recover completely for a full five hours.

4-Activity

In most people, when sugar in any form is consumed, the pancreas releases insulin.  Breast tissue, for example, contains insulin receptors, and insulin is a powerful stimulant of cell growth.  One group of Australian researchers concluded that high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) may actually be causative of cancers of the breast, prostate, endometrium and pancreas. A broad study conducted in 21 countries in Europe, North America and Asia concluded that sugar intake is a strong risk factor contributing to higher breast cancer rates, particularly in older women. A four-year study at the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection in the Netherlands compared 111 biliary tract cancer patients with 480 healthy controls. Sugar intake was associated with more than double the cancer risk.

5- Obesity

Sugar ingestion seriously contributes to obesity, a known cause of cancer.  Obesity also negatively affects survival.  More than 100,000 cases of cancer each year are caused by excess body fat, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.  These include esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, gallbladder, breast and colorectal cancer.

Sugar Substitutes

Although I am against sugar, please don’t think I recommend artificial sugar substitutes!  Sweeteners containing aspartame, saccharin or sucralose have been shown to contribute to bladder cancer, lymphoma and leukemia, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Good sugar substitutes are stevia (an all-natural herb from South America), barley malt, rice syrup, and palm sugar.  Even high-glycemic sweeteners like Sucanat, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey and pure maple syrup are nutritionally superior to refined table sugar or HFCS, and you can avoid sugar spiking if you consume them in the presence of high fiber foods like ground flaxseeds.

References:

[1] Warburg O. On the origin of cancer cells. Science 1956 Feb;123:309-14.

[2] Volk T, et al. pH in human tumor xenografts: effect of intravenous administration of glucose. Br J Cancer 1993 Sep;68(3):492-500.

[3] Kaaks R, Energy balance and cancer: the role of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1. Proc Nutr Soc 2001 Feb;60(1):91-106

[4] Digirolamo M. Diet and cancer: markers, prevention and treatment. New York: Plenum Press; 1994. p 203.

[5] Brand-Miller J, et al. The glucose revolution. Newport (RI) Marlowe and Co.; 1999.

[6] Mooradian AD, et al. Glucotoxicity: potential mechanisms. Clin Geriatr Med 1999 May;15(2):255.

[7] Hoehn, SK, et al. Complex versus simple carbohydrates and mammary tumors in mice. Nutr Cancer 1979;1(3):27.

[8] Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973 Nov;26(11):1180-4.

[9] Moerman CJ, et al. Dietary sugar intake in the aetiology of biliary tract cancer. Int J Epidemiol 1993 Apr;22(2):207-14.

[10] Seeley S. Diet and breast cancer: the possible connection with sugar consumption. Med Hypotheses 1983 Jul;11(3):319-27.

[11] Board M, et al. High Km glucose-phosphorylating (glucokinase) activities in a range of tumor cell lines and inhibition of rates of tumor growth by the specific enzyme inhibitor mannoheptulose. Cancer Res 1995 Aug 1;55(15):3278-85.

[12] Chlebowski RT, et al. Hydrazine sulfate in cancer patients with weight loss. A placebo-controlled clinical experience. Cancer 1987 Feb 1;59(3):406-10.

[13] American College of Physicians. Parenteral nutrition in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Ann Intern Med 1989 May;110(9):734.

[14] Gatenby RA. Potential role of FDG-PET imaging in understanding tumor-host interaction. J Nucl Med 1995 May;36(5):893-9.

[15] http://www.mercola.com/article/sugar/sugar_cancer.htm

[16] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html

[17] http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/05/obesity.cancer.link/index.html