How do you feel about sugar? Could sugar cause cancer?
In Taubes latest article in the NY times:
From the article (page 9):
But some researchers will make the case, as Cantley and Thompson do, that if something other than just being fatter is causing insulin resistance to begin with, that’s quite likely the dietary cause of many cancers. If it’s sugar that causes insulin resistance, they say, then the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least — radical as this may seem and despite the fact that this suggestion has rarely if ever been voiced before publicly. For just this reason, neither of these men will eat sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, if they can avoid it.
“I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can,” Thompson told me, “because I believe ultimately it’s something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer.” Cantley put it this way: “Sugar scares me.”
A lot of things cause insulin resistance, a lot of things cause leptin resistance, a lot of things cause cancer, it's not just sugar. It is sugar, though. Generally when you increase systemic inflammation you increase all of these. Sugar increases systemic inflammation and makes the liver insulin-resistant which starts a vicious cycle of metabolic doom. Inflammation causes insulin resistance causes leptin resistance causes insulin resistance causes inflammation causes leptin resistance causes insulin resistance.
wakes up again
Yeah. Well it's complicated and there is a lot going into every meta-phenomenon but we can safely say that North Americans should get their sugar intake down to a reasonable level. http://www.ajcn.org/content/94/2/479.abstract
I would be careful saying that anything that feeds cancer cells necessarily causes cancer, just like that anything that acts as a carcinogen necessarily leads to cancer is not quite right. Usually it has to do with a breakdown in the defenses against cancer like apoptosis. As I remember from Robb Wolf's book, high insulin levels impair apoptosis and increase the replication rate of cells making them more likely to be cancerous. General systemic inflammation impairs the DNA repair mechanisms leading to more cancerous cells http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419091159.htm. There are definite mechanisms by which polyunsaturated fats, namely large amounts of oxidized omega-6 play into this all too. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/05/eicosanoids-fatty-liver-and-insulin.html And nutrient deficiencies. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2010/08/30/dc10-0994.abstract (vit d is obvious). Once the cancer ball starts to roll, fructose and carcinogens are fuel on the fire.
Sometimes I think that academia is full of monomaniacs. Wait, scratch that, I know it is. Sugar is not sufficient to explain all of insulin resistance or systemic inflammation, it is a piece of the puzzle. If it gets too much press and the other factors get too little, we might only be a bit better off than we have been.
I posted this about cancer 2 days ago. It links to a journal article hypothesizing that cancer is a metabolic disease. In that sense, sugar is likely a major contributing factor, and certainly if you have cancer you'd be better off minimizing it.
Cause is a slippery word, but I'd guess it is a cause.
I only have anecdotal evidence of this but I believe that excess sugar, or really HFCS causes cancer (at least in some people). My brother was a heavy non-diet soda drinker all of his life and ended up with melanoma at age 36. My husband drank non-diet soda on and off throughout his life until he hired on with a company that provided free soda. At that point he became a heavy consumer of soda, developed melanoma also at age 36 during melanoma treatment we found out he has type 2 diabetes as well. So then I wonder which came first? The diabetes or the melanoma? Maybe HFCS > Diabetes > Melanoma?
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