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Thursday, February 12, 2015
Sugars: The Fuel for Cancer!
Sugars: The Fuel for Cancer!
FEBRUARY 11, 2015
By Dr. Ben Lerner
If an oncologist or anyone tells a cancer patient that it doesn’t matter if they eat sugar, that person is just flat-out wrong. Like all causes of cancer, sugar interferes with normal, healthy, balanced physiology. What makes sugar even more of a problem is that cancer really thrives on it.
When a patient goes in for a positron emission tomography (PET) scan to see if cancer is spreading, what are they given? The answer is dextrose, which is a form of sugar. Why? Because cancer cells have more receptor sites for sugar than for anything else. The reality: sugar is the fuel for cancer.
Shortly before a PET scan is performed, the patient is injected with sugar containing a radioactive dye. The cancer cells eat the sugar, and the dye lights up like a Christmas tree when scanned. That lets the doctors verify whether the cancer has spread. Cancer cells, which grow quickly, are more likely than normal cells to take up larger amounts of the sugar.
In Germany on June 30, 1966 Dr. Otto Warburg delivered a lecture to Nobel Laureates titled, “The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer,” which discussed the role of sugar in the spread of cancer. “Cancer, above all other disease, has countless secondary causes, but even for cancer, there is only one prime cause,’’ Warburg told the lecture. “The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by fermentation of sugar (anaerobic respiration).”
All normal body cells need oxygen to survive. However, cancer cells are not like normal, healthy cells. Cancer cells meet their energy needs through fermentation. In other words, glucose (sugar) helps cancer cells survive and thrive.
High blood sugar and insulin levels also lead to elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). As mentioned previously concerning milk cows injected with hormones, elevated IGF-1 plays a major role in the progression of many childhood cancers and in the growth of tumors in breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and cancers of the pancreas and prostate, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health. This has been confirmed many times.[i][ii][iii][iv]
Whether it’s the insulin, the body fat, the inflammation, or the hormones, many studies support the flat-out fact that sugar equals cancer. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2004 showed that women who ate the highest glycemic (or sugary) foods were three times more likely to develop colon cancer.[v]
Do you ever see high fructose corn syrup on your food labels? This is even worse than regular cane sugar. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate. The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, noted that tumor cells thrive on sugar, but they specifically used fructose to proliferate. And finally, it suggested that people who “reduce fructose intake … may disrupt cancer growth.”[vi]
With all of this documented research on sugar and cancer, over the past fifty years, how much of the money raised for cancer research has gone toward reducing the amount of sugar people are eating? Answer: too little to register.
Sugar Alternatives: The Good, the Bad, and the Out-of-the-Question
Sugar and its close cousins—corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, and agave—are “anti-nutrients.” All cause spikes in blood sugar. They include only an insignificant amount of vitamins and minerals and actually rob your body of stored precious nutrients. The natural herb stevia is the preferred alternative sweetener. Xylitol® is an acceptable alternate. These are both great ingredients for desserts and ways to satisfy a sweet tooth.
While alternatives like honey and Maple Syrup are natural, they will still spike blood sugar. If eaten at all, it must be only in raw, organic forms. And even then you’ve got to get some exercise regularly to burn these calories.
Chemical alternatives in the pink, blue, and yellow packages are simply out of the question! Saccharine, Nutrasweet®, and Splenda® are concentrated chemicals made in a lab and don’t belong in any level in a body wishing to steer clear of disease. (See more toward the end of this chapter in “The Cancer Culprits.”)
This disease-causer is everywhere. According to published reports, the top source of sugar for the vast majority of North Americans is soft drinks. Other sources include processed meats, pizza, sauces, breads, soups, crackers, fruit drinks, canned foods, yogurt, ketchup, and mayonnaise. Read the ingredients! You’ll be shocked. This deadly white powder is consumed at an average of 120 pounds per person each year.
[i] LeRoith, D. and H. Werner, S. Neuenschwander, T. Kalebic, and L. J. Helman, (1995), “The Role of the Insulin-like Growth Factor-I Receptor in Cancer,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 766: 402–408. doi: 10.1111/ j.1749-6632.1995.tb26689.x.
[ii] Mantzoros, C.S. and A. Tzonou, L. B. Signorello, M. Stampfer, D. Trichopoulos, H.O. Adami, “Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 in Relation to Prostate Cancer and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia,”British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 76, No. 9, 1997, pp. 1115-18, PubMed, PMID:9365156.
[iii] Cascinu, S. and E. Del Ferro, C. Grianti, M. Ligi, R. Ghiselli, G. Foglietti, V. Saba, F. Lungarotti, G. Catalano, “Inhibition Of Tumor Cell Kinetics and Serum Insulin Growth Factor I Levels By Octreotide In Colorectal Cancer Patients,” Gastroenterology, Vol. 113, September 1997, pp. 767-72, PubMed, PMID:9287967.
[iv] Chan, June M., and Meir J. Stampfer, Edward Giovannucci, Peter H. Gann, Jing Ma, Peter Wilkinson, Charles H. Hennekens and Michael Pollak, “Plasma Insulin-like Growth factor I and Prostate Cancer risk: a prospective study,” Science, Vol. 279, January 23, 1998, 563-66.
[v] Higginbotham, Susan and Zuo-Feng Zhang, I-Min Lee, Nancy R. Cook, Edward Giovannucci, Julie E. Buring, Simin Liu, “Dietary Glycemic Load and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Women’s Health Study,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, (2004) 96(3): 229-233 doi:10.1093/jnci/djh020.
[vi] Liu, Haibo, and Danshan Huang, David L. McArthur, Laszlo G. Boros, Nicholas Nissen, Anthony P. Heaney, “Fructose Induces Transketolase Flux to Promote Pancreatic Cancer Growth,” Cancer Research, July 20, 2010.