It’s generally acknowledged that a healthy diet is the foundation of good health, so if you want to improve your health, change your diet. This often comes hard on fast-food lovers and sugar addicts, who are generally ignorant of food consequences. However, this may change as a result of a recent study confirming that cancer cells grow and thrive on processed sugar.
A recently published study in the Nature Medicine journal affirmed that refined sugar is one of the principal causes behind the development and spread of cancer tumors. In fact, the findings were so irrefutable, that future cancer screening may depend on scanning the body for stored sugar as sign of the disease.
This discovery was made by the University College London (UCL) in the U.K. after trialing a new cancer detection method that uses a unique form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). What the scientists did was sensitize a MRI scanner to specifically detect glucose in the body. They revealed that cancer tumors, which feed on sugar, light up brightly because they contain large sugar quantities.
A recent UCL announcement explains, “The new technique, called ‘glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer’ (glucoCEST), is based on the fact that tumors consume much more glucose (a type of sugar) than normal, healthy tissues in order to sustain their growth.” The university gave an update on the matter, noting that the scanner shows tumors as “bright images.”
On the contrary, traditional scanning for cancer uses low-dose radiation injections to identify the presence of tumors. However, such injections are not optimal due to their potential side effects as radiation is another known cause of cancer. On the other hand, this method is effective because the things that prompt cancer development and spread can also be used by doctors to detect it inside the body. So now, sugar is officially added to the list.
According to Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel, lead researcher of the study from the UCL Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI), “The method uses an injection of normal sugar and could offer a cheap, safe alternative to existing methods for detecting tumors, which require the injection of radioactive material.”
As reported by the study’s senior author, what’s most astonishing is that it only takes the amount of sugar in “half a standard sized chocolate bar” to successfully detect the presence of tumors using the glucoCEST method. This finding is shocking because it suggests that even comparatively low sugar quantities can promote cancer proliferation.
UCL was not the first source to find the link between processed sugar and cancer. Namely, Dr. Robert H. Lustig, M.D. and Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Franciasco (UCSF), claims that sugar consumption is the cause behind the majority of chronic illnesses prevalent today. Lustig is also the renowned author of “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, and describes his findings openly in videos.
White sugar and flour, sweetened and processed foods, and fast food are the main culprits containing harmful sugar. Compared to natural sources of fructose from fruit, the way these sugars break down in the body is what causes an increase of hormones to be released (especially insulin), and as a result, trigger cancer cells to feed and continue to grow in size.
During a CBS interview, Dr. Lewis Cantley, head of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) at Harvard University, shared the sugar-cancer connection: “What we’re beginning to learn is that insulin can cause adverse effects in various tissues, and a particular concern is cancer.”
He added, “If you happen to have a tumor that has insulin receptors on it, then it will get stimulated to take up the glucose that’s in the bloodstream. So rather than going to the fat or to the muscle, the glucose now goes into the tumor, and the tumor uses it to grow.”
These sources are strong evidence that wholesome, unprocessed, and predominantly plant-based foods are essential to maintain overall body health. What you can do for a start is increase your intake of greens, vegetables and plant-based proteins, while decreasing the amount of processed foods you consume. It’s a fact that the body is really capable of healing itself; however the necessity to make such dietary changes for the body to function properly is a must.