According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 12.5 million people had some form of cancer in 2009. On top of that, another 25.8 million have diabetes. These two preventable diseases alone are responsible for millions of deaths around the globe each year.
In our quest of a better and healthier life, most of us forget to acknowledge the fact that too much sugar in the blood can lead to diabetes and that by controlling it we can both prevent and also reverse the disease. But, can we say the same for cancer?
According to recent studies, sugar and cancer are indeed correlated.
The Sugar-Cancer Connection
Obesity and high blood sugar are prerequisites for diabetes. People who have diabetes have an estimated double risk of suffering a colon or pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Researchers say that there is a link between the two and that blood sugar could play a role in the development of cancer.
Research published in the journal Molecular Cell, a team of scientists under Dr Custodia Garcia-Jimenez, have recognised how sugar could directly increase the cancer risk.
During metabolism, cells in the intestine recognise sugar and signal the pancreas to release insulin (the hormone responsible for blood sugar regulation). The sugars in the digestive system do this with the use of a hormone called GIP which assists in the insulin release.
Dr Garcia-Jimenez concluded that a specific protein known as β-catenin controls the ability of the intestines to release GIP and this protein is dependent on sugar levels.
“Increased activity of β–catenin is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal, a key step in the early stages of cancer progression. The study demonstrates that high (but not normal) sugar levels induce nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and leads to cell proliferation. The changes induced on β-catenin, the molecules involved and the diversity of cancer cells susceptible to these changes are identified,” Science Daily reports.
Clarified: increased blood sugar levels could lead to increased production of this protein which is known to impact cancer risk.
“We were surprised to realise that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk,” said Dr Garcia-Jimenez. “We are not investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk.”
Dr Garcia-Jimenez continued to say something straightforward and profound: “Changing diet is one of the easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money.” I’m sure everyone agrees with that one.
Experts agree sugar is terrible for your health. Considering, the average person consuming 300% more sugar daily than suggested and kids taking in 7 trillion calories of sugar from sodas each year, it seems inevitable to instil a new dietary lifestyle if we would to improve the health of ourselves and everyone around us.
Source: Natural Society