Did you enjoy your sweets over the holidays?

Now that the holiday season is officially over it is time to return to some sobering facts. Everyone enjoys sweet treats through the holidays. Many holidays traditions are centered around food. However, over the many years there have been multiple claims and numerous studies searching for links between sugar and cancer. This article was created to call attention to some recent cancer research.

The finding, published in Nature Communications, on October 13, 2017, defined as “a crucial breakthrough,” is the result of a nine-year joint cancer research project, conducted by VIB, KU Leuven and VUB, in Belgium.  The conclusion of their work show that one particular kind of protein can be activated by sugar.  Mutations in that protein have been linked to cancer.

This research in yeast and human cells has led to a critical scientific hypothesis – sugar does fuel tumor growth. The microbiologists and molecular biologists have clarified how the “Warburg effect,” a phenomenon in which cancer cells rapidly break down sugars, stimulates tumor growth. This discovery provides additional evidence for a correlation between sugar and cancer.

The Warburg Effect:

Cancer cells rewire their metabolism to promote growth, survival, proliferation, and long-term maintenance. The common feature of this altered metabolism is the increased glucose uptake and fermentation of glucose to lactate.

Scientists caution they have to complete more work

Prof Johan Thevelein stated, in his news release, “…link between sugar and cancer has sweeping consequences. Our results provide a foundation for future research in this domain, which can now be performed with a much more precise and relevant focus.”

However, the scientist further emphasis the breakthrough in their research is not the same as a breakthrough in medicine. The next step is to conduct clinical trials with Oncologists. Only after the results from these trials are known, can further statements be made about possible consequences for cancer treatments and most likely adjustments in our diets. But it is important to understand developing new therapies will take years of work.

In conclusion, it is clear there are many questions left unanswered. The study is not suggesting you change your eating habit.  Everything in moderation is still important when it comes to your diet and health. If you have any concerns regarding your health consult your primary physicians.


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