Aside from the direct effect of high sugar consumption on diabetes and obesity, a new study also links this to breast cancer.
This was revealed by a team of researchers from the MD Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas, who wanted to delve further into earlier studies on a potential link between sugar intake and breast cancer development. The study used lab mice to check whether feeding them with either sucrose, fructose or starch could lead to signs of breast cancer. The diet prepared for each mouse was based on a standard Western meal, which has lots of refined sugars and fat, and less fruits and vegetables.
Results revealed that mice given a diet rich in sucrose or fructose had a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In terms of percentages, 30 percent of mice in a starch-rich diet were found with breast tumors. Meanwhile, close to 60 percent of those in sugar-rich foods had tumors. In addition, these mice also exhibited faster metastasis, based on tumors found in the lungs. “We determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-hydroxy-5Z,8Z,10E,14Z-eicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) production in breast tumors,” said study co-author Lorenzo Cohen in a news item.
The researchers discovered that sugar intake has a definite impact on cancer development. “This study suggests that dietary sucrose or fructose induced 12-LOX and 12-HETE production in breast tumor cells in vivo… This indicates a possible signaling pathway responsible for sugar-promoted tumor growth in mice. How dietary sucrose and fructose induces 12-HETE and whether it has a direct or indirect effect remains in question,” Cohen added.
The study and its findings were published in the journal Cancer Research.