Researchers may be able to explain how sugar might fuel the growth of cancer. They say it boils down to one type of sugar in particular: fructose. Tests in mice show a possible mechanism for how it happens. The findings, published in the journal Cancer Research, support studies that suggest people who consume more sugar have a higher risk of cancer — especially breast cancer.
The researchers fed mice four different diets that were either heavy in starch or heavy in different types of sugar. What they found is that “Any sugar helped make the tumors grow faster, but fructose did it significantly more. ”
The implications for people are clear. Cohen notes that fructose consumption in the U.S. surged from about half a pound a person a year in 1970 to more than 62 pounds a year in 1997. That’s mainly due to the broad use of high fructose corn syrup.