Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, revealed that there is one substance commonly found in food that contributes to around 35 million deaths worldwide each year. According to the researches, sugar can lead to the onset of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hyper- and hypoglycemia, GERD and heart disease and cancer.
Actually, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah were one of the first to discover that sugar is essential for tumor development. Their research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the words of Don Ayer, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah “It’s been known since 1923 that tumor cells use a lot more glucose than normal cells. Our research helps show how this process takes place, and how it might be stopped to control tumor growth.”
So far a number of studies have confirmed that people with the highest levels of blood glucose develop more cancers, and that people with cancer, who also have the highest blood levels of glucose, survive least.
THE LINK BETWEEN SUGAR AND CANCER
Although all our cells need glucose, a form of sugar which is transformed into energy, cancer cells thrive on simple carbohydrates, including those from refined sugars found in processed foods and sweets. The process when glucose is broken down to provide energy is called glycolysis. In a healthy cell, glucose is converted to pyruvate, which passes into the power stations or mitochondria to be ´burned´ in the presence of oxygen.
Cancer cells also need glucose, which they can make themselves. But, unlike healthy cells, cancer cells make their energy from glycolysis in the absence of oxygen. This is called anaerobic glycolysis.
The waste product from this process of anaerobic glycolysis is a form of lactic acid, which can only be broken down by the liver. Therefore, this lactic acid passes from the cancer cell to the liver where it is broken down. The waste product of this process is again glucose, which then goes back to feed the cancer cell, thus forming a vicious circle which takes over the body in cancer. Once cancer cells have appeared in the body, they rely on continual glucose availability in the blood for their development.
But, while healthy cells can also use other forms of ´food´ like fats, as precursors, cancer cells are not able to metabolize significant amounts of fatty acids or ketone bodies. That’s why they need sugar. Refined sugars are strongly linked to cancer in two ways – they are a potential cause of cancer, and also ‘food’ for cancer cells once they appear in the body. A number of health experts and holistic practitioners suggest that the most rational, effective, safe, necessary and inexpensive way to treat cancer is to cut off the supply of food to tumors and cancer cells, starving them with a lack of glucose. This treatment for selective starvation of tumors by dietary modification (ketogenic diet) is one of the most important forms of therapy necessary for cancer patients to beat cancer.
Here arises another problem and that’s ‘hidden’ sugar. While most people can easily eliminate foods full of refined sugar such as cakes, candies, cookies, etc., there’s a whole list of ‘healthy’ foods that also contain high amounts of sugar – yogurt, cereals, whole wheat or whole grain breads, and even ‘low-calorie’ items. Even salad dressings can be abundant in sugar!