New study links high sugar intake with development of breast tumors in lab mice.
A new study has found a link between high levels of sugar that is typically found in the diet of the residents of most western nations, and the increased risk of breast cancer tumors and metastasis to the lungs in mice.
According to UPI.com, fructose, commonly found in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and used in a large percentage of foods we eat, was found to foster breast tumor growth and also assisted with the spread of the tumors.
The research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center enforces earlier studies that had linked dietary sugar to other types of cancer and a connection between sugar and inflammation that could lead the the development of the disease.
Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, a professor of palliative, rehabilitation, and integrative medicine at MD Anderson, said in a press release, “The current study investigated the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in multiple mouse models, along with mechanisms that may be involved. 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-HETE production in breast tumors.”
The research team undertook four separate studies feeding mice with different levels of sucrose and fructose, and the findings show that 50-58 percent of the mice on a high-sucrose diets developed mammary tumors before reaching the age of six months, compared to just 30 percent of the mice on a starch-controlled diet. An increase in lung metastases was noted in the same group.
Cohen added although the findings suggest that sugar in any form could lead to increased production in breast tumor cells, more research would be needed before saying that sugar had a direct or an indirect effect on tumor growth.
Dr. Peiying Yang, an assistant professor of palliative, rehabilitation, and integrative medicine at MD Anderson also added, “Prior research has examined the role of sugar, especially glucose, and energy-based metabolic pathways in cancer development. However, the inflammatory cascade may be an alternative route of studying sugar-driven carcinogenesis that warrants further study.”
The findings of the study were published in the journal Cancer Research.