Believe it or not, researchers have been saying for years that diet and cancer aren't related. You can imagine what I think of that opinion. Fortunately, new research has them changing their tune - and it backs up something I've been saying for years. If you don't want to feed cancer, there's something you need to avoid feeding yourself. Here's what it is.
For some time now, scientists have known about the Warburg effect, the name for the fact that cancer cells break down sugar really quickly, which in turn promotes tumor growth. However, researchers have been hesitant to say that consuming sugar can definitely lead to cancerous growth, as they weren't sure if the Warburg effect was a cancer symptom or a cancer cause. Researchers at the VIB, a research institute in Belgium, decided to investigate the Warburg effect further to see if they could find a clear connection.
This study began all the way back in 2008. The researchers began mapping out cancer cell metabolism, trying to find variations and abnormalities that spurred cancer growth. Sure enough, they found that consuming sugar did indeed create a cycle of tumor growth that allowed cells to consume more sugar and create more cancerous cells.
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The researchers conducted their study using yeast cells, which act remarkably similar to human cells when it comes to cancer response. Both types of cells contain Ras proteins that can become cancerous when they mutate. The researchers found that sugar increased Ras activity, leading to both healthy and cancerous cell growth. The researchers then confirmed that this process is the same in mammalian cells.
The researchers are hopeful that future studies will shed light on ideal diets for cancer patients. I don't think we need to over-complicate this issue. Whether you have cancer or not, you need to be very careful about your sugar consumption. There really is no benefit to consuming foods prepared with refined sugar - and there could be a lot of harm. Feed yourself with nutritious, whole foods that don't contain added sugar. Don't feed potential cancer cells with junk.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD