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Why Does Cancer Like Sugar

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Does The Sugar In Fruit Feed Cancer

Why Does Sugar Scare the Top Cancer Researchers?

A reader asked me the following question, and I wanted to share my responsewith you, since many of you may be wondering about this.

QUESTION : Were told that cancer feeds on sugar. And theres a lot ofsugar in fruit. Should we avoid eating fruit? Or eat only acid fruits? Iftheres sugar in fruit, how come we can eat them even when we have cancer? Ihope you can answer, even though this is just a small question, because thereare lots of fruit in the summer and I dont know what to tell my Dad, who hasprostate cancer.


The level of glucose in the blood is increased when fruit is eaten, but muchless than in the case of refined sugars or white flour. This is partly becausefruit contains fiber and many other components along with fructose , and these additionalcomponents modulate the effect of the fructose. So, for example, althoughfructose can make you fat, it doesnt increase the level of insulin in theblood, or the level of IGF, the growth hormone that accompanies insulin.

Theres even a pilot study that suggests that men suffering from prostatecancer , and who drink half a pintof pomegranate juice every morning, manage to slowconsiderably the progression of their tumor. Another study observed a similareffect in mice grafted with prostate cancer, whose diet contained an equivalentquantity of pomegranate juice. Im attaching the references of thesestudies.

Association Of Consumption Of Concentrated Sugars With Incidence Of Prostate Cancer

A recent study analyzed data of 22,720 men from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial who were enrolled between 1993-2001.The study evaluated the association between consumption of added or concentrated sugars in beverages and desserts and prostate cancer risk. After a median follow-up of 9 years, 1996 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The study found that increased consumption of sugars from sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer for men who consumed very high levels of sugar. The study suggested that limiting the intake of sugar from beverages may be important in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer patients may have to avoid very high intake of concentrated sugar.

The Sugar And Cancer Connection


Does sugar feed cancer? Its one of the questions we get asked often. We prepared this video to provide an evidence-based answer to this frequently asked question.

The bottom line: every cell in our bodies, including cancer cells, uses sugar from our bloodstream for fuel.

We get that blood sugar from foods we eat containing carbohydrates, including healthful vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy sources. Some glucose is even produced within our bodies from protein, but theres no clear evidence that the sugar in your diet preferentially feeds tumors over other cells.

There is a connection between sugar and cancer risk, however, but its more indirect than many realize. Eating a lot of high-sugar foods may mean more calories in your diet than you need, which eventually leads to excess body fat. After not smoking, being at a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do to prevent cancer. It is excess body fat that is convincingly linked to greater risk of these 12 types of cancer:

  • Breast
  • Stomach

AICR Impact

The American Institute for Cancer Research helps the public understand the relationship between lifestyle, nutrition and cancer risk. We work to prevent cancer through innovative research, community programs and impactful public health initiatives.

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But Dont Break Out The Rainbow Sprinkles

Sugar isnt off the hook completely. While eating more sugar, in and of itself, doesnt cause cancer, eating too much of it can make you pack on the pounds. Being obese does increase your risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer, as does being diabetic, which is also more likely if youre overweight.

There is evidence that following a Mediterranean diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and veggies and healthy fats can cut your cancer risk.

Too Much Sugar Is Still Bad Right

Sugar and cancer  what you need to know

Though we needn’t be worried about sugar feeding cancer, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your overall sugar consumption.

An excessive sweet tooth can lead to a whole host of health problems, including a greater risk of developing certain cancers.

Just as fat can be converted to sugar when it’s needed, the reverse can also happen sugar being stored as fat when the body doesn’t require it.

Professor Aranda says people with higher sugar intakes are more likely to be overweight or obese, which is a contributing factor to cancer.

“We’ve estimated that just over 3 per cent of the total number of cancers diagnosed in Australia are related to obesity or being overweight,” she says.

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Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Cancer

You may have heard that artificial sweeteners are the culprit for the increased incidence of cancer in the United States. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, the scientific evidence is unclear whether these sugar-free sweeteners cause cancer. It is recommended that people limit the amount of artificial sweeteners they consume by practicing moderation.

Cancer Myths Cause More Harm Than Good

Our body is designed to use blood sugar as fuel, so while sugar does feed cancer cells it also feeds healthy cells. Oversimplifying the sugar and cancer debate can cause more harm than good, creating stress and anxiety around food and mealtime. Focus on overall lifestyle changes, rather than worrying about one food, to benefit your health.

Do you need help with making lifestyle changes to support healthy blood sugar? Learn more about our oncology nutritionist by visiting Integrative Medicine or calling 757-594-3099.

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What Is Monk Fruit Sweetener

The monk fruit infusion is light yellow to brownish powder. Monk fruit is referred to as a strong rival to stevia, a fellow natural sweetener. both are commonly used in new products, rather than replacing sweeteners in existing products.

However, monk fruit extract has several advantages over stevia. No bitter taste is left behind after consuming monk fruit extract, so this sweetener is more versatile.

Cancer Cells Need Lots Of Glucose

Why Sugar Loves Cancer

All cells need glucose as a source of energy. Normal cells use tiny internal powerhouses called mitochondria to convert glucose into units of chemical energy.

However, to meet their higher demand for energy, cancer cells have a faster process for metabolizing glucose that does not involve mitochondria.

This is called the Warburg effect, after the scientist Otto Warburg, who observed it over 50 years ago.

Exploiting this uniqueness in cancer cells could open fruitful avenues for research into new treatments.

It may be possible, for instance, to develop drugs that target and disable glucose metabolism in cancer cells without stopping healthy cells from making energy. Trials of experimental drugs that aim to do this are already under way.

One of the advantages that oncolytic viruses have over drugs is that once they are inside the cell their dose increases with time, whereas with drugs it decreases.

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How Is Monk Fruit Sugar Made

Monk fruit sweetener is produced simply by processing it first into juice, dried then processed into crystal form. According to the FDA, monk fruit extract can taste up to 250 times sweeter than cane sugar, thanks to its chemical compound mogroside it can provide a distinctive sweet taste.

This fruit sweetener is a 100% natural powder extract made from organic monk fruit, no wonder it is used as an alternative to sugar.

If youre still confused about replacing your sweetener, know The Best Sweetener for Diabetics Reviews to make your choice easier.

Myth : You Must Cut Out All Sugar

You dont need to avoid all sugar to stay healthy. In fact, sugar is an important part of a balanced diet, particularly when it comes from natural sources like fruit. Your body makes its own sugar from other macronutrients in your diet, such as protein, fat and complex carbohydrates, so eating added sugar isnt necessary. Its all about moderation.

Rather than completely cutting sugar from your diet, aim to limit refined carbohydrates, along with foods and beverages with added sugars. Instead focus on eating a nutrient-dense diet high in fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains.

According to the American Heart Association, women should limit their added sugars to no more than 6 teaspoons, or 25 grams, a day. Men should limit their sugar consumption to no more than 9 teaspoons, or 36 grams, a day.

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What’s Your Burning Question

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Evidence suggests being overweight or obese is a risk factor for 10 different cancers including bowel, breast and liver cancer.

And while limiting your sugar intake won’t starve cancer cells, it can help decrease the risk of you developing certain cancers, Professor Aranda says.

“It’s actually not the sugar that’s evil, it’s the volume in which it’s eaten and that link to obesity.”

Dr Saunders agrees.

“Obesity is a risk factor, and eating too much sugar is a risk factor for obesity, so there’s no doubt a link there, but you can’t make the jump then to saying ‘Stop eating sugar to starve a tumour’,” he says.

“It really comes down to an individual basis. It’s impossible to make a blanket statement.”

How Did We Get Into This Obesity Trouble


As we emerged as a major agricultural nation after World War II, the United States was able to produce a tremendous amount of grains. And the caloric value of grains is not in their protein or in their fats primarily, but in their carbohydrates.

We also learned that we could refine those carbohydrates into things that were pleasurable to eat sugar. So that was exploited, for good and for bad, to give us the soft drinks that we have today, to give us the kinds of high-caloric meals that allow people not to be malnourished. Because the first necessity in nutrition is not to have a balanced diet, but just to get enough calories to support us with the energy to live. Carbohydrates are the most immediate source of our ability to produce the energy needed to maintain our bodies.

But then the USDA developed the nutritional food pyramid and put carbohydrates at the base of it. The food pyramid wasnt based on science. It was just what we could produce as a nation. Thats gotten us into trouble.

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Not All Sugars Are Created Equal

While most fruits do have a high sugar content, they are also rich in nutrients that are known to be cancer protective. Milk is another food that sometimes gets excluded due to its sugar content, but it too, is rich in important nutrients such as protein, which is in high demand during cancer treatment, and calcium. These nutrition powerhouses should not be grouped with other high sugar foods such as candy, cookies, and cakes. These sugar rich foods are high in sugar but low in healthy nutrients and should be eaten sparingly.

Sugar And Cancer: Does Sugar Increase Cancer Risk

contributed by Nancy Burke, R.D., Danielle Karsies, M.S., R.D., and Melissa Shannon-Hagen, R.D., CSO, U-M Rogel Cancer Center Symptom Management and Supportive Care Program

You may have heard that sugar feeds cancer and to avoid all foods and beverages that contain sugar, but is this really necessary? Following such a restriction can significantly reduce your intake of foods that are rich in nutrients that have been shown to fight cancer such as fruits and whole grains. In addition, eating enough calories during cancer treatment can be difficult. Adding new, restrictive dietary changes can often lead to more stress which can also compromise your immune system. The following information is what the research shows in relation to sugar and cancer and how to incorporate healthy eating based on these findings.

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Viruses More Effective Around Less Glucose

When scientists store and grow cells in the laboratory, they give them lots of glucose. In the human body, however, the cell environment is much less rich in glucose. Also, due to poor circulation, tumors typically have even lower levels of glucose.

In their work with oncolytic viruses, Dyer and his team decided to alter the laboratory conditions to better match those of real life. They reduced the glucose levels.

They found that the oncolytic viruses were much more effective at attacking cancer cells when there was less glucose around. The viruses replicated faster under the new conditions.

They suggest that this finding could also improve laboratory testing of candidate drugs.

Further investigation revealed that adding a drug that hampers the cancer cells glucose metabolism strengthened the viruses ability to kill cancer cells even further.

Plans are currently under way to test the glucose-limiting approach in clinical trials to find out whether it could be effective in human patients.

Eating For Cancer Prevention Vs Eating Well During Cancer Treatment

Does Sugar Feed Prostate Cancer? | Ask a Prostate Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

Its easy to be confused about the difference between eating for cancer prevention and eating a diet that is suitable for someone undergoing cancer treatment. Lets clarify.

Eating for cancer prevention focuses on reducing your exposure to potential carcinogens. When eaten regularly over an extended period, dietary carcinogens include meats cooked at high temperatures and those preserved using nitrates. During treatment, however, some of these foods may stimulate appetite and thus be beneficial.

During cancer treatment, you should choose foods that taste good, dont cause heartburn, and help you have regular bowel movements. Typical cancer treatment involves surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies like immunotherapy. Lets look at each in turn and see what diet modifications are most beneficial for each type of cancer treatment.

Surgery: After surgery for cancer, you need to eat more protein to aid in your recovery. For most people, this means adding another 20 grams a day, or the equivalent of about 3 ounces of fish, chicken, lean meat, or shellfish. Or about 8 ounces of beans, tofu, or quinoa.

Radiation: During radiation, avoid high-dose single antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, beta carotene, and Vitamin E, as these may blunt the effectiveness of your treatment.

Chemotherapy: Hydration is especially important during chemo. Protein needs are also increased. A ready-to-drink amino acid or peptide supplement can help you get both.

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What Are Artificial Sweeteners And How Are They Regulated In The United States

Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, are substances that are used instead of sucrose to sweeten foods and beverages. Because artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than table sugar, much smaller amounts are needed to create the same level of sweetness.

Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . The FDA, like the National Cancer Institute , is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA regulates food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, tobacco products, and radiation-emitting products. The Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which was passed by Congress in 1958, requires the FDA to approve food additives, including artificial sweeteners, before they can be made available for sale in the United States. However, this legislation does not apply to products that are generally recognized as safe. Such products do not require FDA approval before being marketed.

Explain Why Its Hard To Starve Cancer Of Sugar Just By Changing Your Diet

Because your body has this interesting fail-safe system that never lets your blood glucose level drift below a certain number. So eating less sugar will just make the body use its remaining resources to produce the glucose on its own.

Everything about your biology has been naturally selected for at least 600 million years to make sure that no matter what you eat, you keep enough glucose in your system and dont become deficient. So its very hard to affect the system by changing your diet.

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What Have Studies Shown About A Possible Association Between Specific Artificial Sweeteners And Cancer


Studies in laboratory rats during the early 1970s linked saccharin with the development of bladder cancer, especially in male rats. However, mechanistic studies have shown that these results apply only to rats. Human epidemiology studies have shown no consistent evidence that saccharin is associated with bladder cancer incidence.

Because the bladder tumors seen in rats are due to a mechanism not relevant to humans and because there is no clear evidence that saccharin causes cancer in humans, saccharin was delisted in 2000 from the U.S. National Toxicology Programs Report on Carcinogens, where it had been listed since 1981 as a substance reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen . More information about the delisting of saccharin is available in the Report on Carcinogens, Fourteenth Edition.


Aspartame, distributed under several trade names , was approved in 1981 by the FDA after numerous tests showed that it did not cause cancer or other adverse effects in laboratory animals.

A 2005 study raised the possibility that very high doses of aspartame might cause lymphoma and leukemia in rats . But after reviewing the study, FDA identified many shortcomings in it and did not alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe. In 2005, the National Toxicology Program reported that aspartame exposure did not cause tumors in or affect the survival of two types of genetically modified mice .


Acesulfame potassium, Neotame, and Advantame


A Lifestyle Strategy To Keep Cancer At Bay

Scientists Explain Connection Between Sugar and Cancer Growth

Research shows that extended periods of high blood sugar and high insulin, the hormone that helps manage blood sugar, may influence cancer cell growth rather than any one particular food.

To keep the risk of cancer low and to slow down growth of existing cancer, you can adopt a lifestyle that keeps blood sugar consistently in a healthy range. The American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Societyrecommend that you:

  • Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that dont spike blood sugar like whole fruits, beans, lentils, vegetables, whole grains and fresh herbs.
  • Avoid quickly digested carbohydrates that raise blood sugar fast including soda, juice, candy and desserts.
  • Balance meals and snacks to include protein, fiber and healthy fats these components slow down digestion and blood sugar spikes.
  • Get moving! Exercise and physical activity throughout the day naturally lower blood sugar as glucose is used to fuel muscles.
  • Manage stress. Stress raises blood sugar even without food! Make time for relaxing activities like nature walks, puzzles and time with friends.

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