(CNN) Does sugar, which makes all things delicious, lead to cancer?
More on the recent study results showing sugar’s influence on cancer cells. The study, conducted by molecular biologists in Belgium over the last nine years, shows that their fermentation process — the same one that cancer cells prefer — actually stimulates tumor growth. The article published online 10/13/17 can be found here.
Their findings suggest that the most common cancer-causing genes, called Ras proteins, fuel aggressive tumors with their sugar intake. In short, sugar “awakens” existing cancer cells, making them multiply and expand rapidly, according to these scientists.
“The hyperactive sugar consumption of cancerous cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth” lead study author and Belgian molecular biologist Johan Thevelein, a professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, wrote in a press release.
Don’t believe the American Heart Assn. — butter, steak and coconut oil aren’t likely to kill you
Last month, the American Heart Assn. once again went after butter, steak and especially coconut oil with this familiar warning: The saturated fats in these foods cause heart disease. The organization’s “presidential advisory” was a fresh look at the science and came in response to a growing number of researchers, including myself, who have pored over this same data in recent years and beg to differ. A rigorous review of the evidence shows that when it comes to heart attacks or mortality, saturated fats are not guilty.
To me, the AHA advisory released in June was mystifying. How could its scientists examine the same studies as I had, yet double down on an anti-saturated fat position? With a cardiologist, I went through the nuts and bolts of the AHA paper, and came to this conclusion: It was likely driven less by sound science than by longstanding bias, commercial interests and the AHA’s need to reaffirm nearly 70 years of its “heart healthy” advice.
That the AHA should be so resistant to updating its view of saturated fats, despite so much legitimate science, could simply reflect the association’s unwavering devotion to a belief it has promoted for decades. Or it could be due to its significant, longstanding reliance on funding from interested industries, such as the vegetable-oil manufacturer Procter & Gamble, maker of Crisco, which virtually launched the AHA as a nation-wide powerhouse in 1948 by designating the then-needy group to receive all the funds from a radio contest it sponsored (about $17 million). More recently, Bayer, the owner of LibertyLink soybeans, pledged up to $500,000 to the AHA, perhaps encouraged by the group’s continued support of soybean oil, by far the dominant ingredient in the “vegetable oil” consumed in America today.
The answer, based on the most recent research, seems to be … yes, but more research is needed. This article on the Mother Nature Network (www.mnn.com) covers the issue pretty well, simplifying a very complex subject and turning it into something we can all digest.
Dr. Stacy Kennedy of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute addresses the subject with similar uncertainty.
“One of the most common questions we hear from our patients is, ‘does sugar feed cancer?’ As with most nutrition research, the answer to this seemingly simple question is actually quite complex,” she writes.
“Overall, most of the research in sugar and cancer uses data from preliminary studies with animal and test tube data to draw conclusions. Recent research has looked at the details of an individual’s diet and sugar intake and how it may affect cancer risk or survivorship outcomes, but there have not been any randomized, controlled trials showing that sugar causes cancer.”
But new research may have cracked the link.