3

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How do you feel about sugar?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 08, 2011 at 6:45 AM

How do you feel about sugar? Could sugar cause cancer?

In Taubes latest article in the NY times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=magazine

From the article (page 9):

But some researchers will make the case, as Cantley and Thompson do, that if something other than just being fatter is causing insulin resistance to begin with, that???s quite likely the dietary cause of many cancers. If it???s sugar that causes insulin resistance, they say, then the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer ??? some cancers, at least ??? radical as this may seem and despite the fact that this suggestion has rarely if ever been voiced before publicly. For just this reason, neither of these men will eat sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, if they can avoid it.

???I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can,??? Thompson told me, ???because I believe ultimately it???s something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer.??? Cantley put it this way: ???Sugar scares me.???

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:50 PM

Yeah that sounds like the logical chain of events =/

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:39 PM

Assuming your hub only drank non-diet soda, HFCS==>insulin resistance==> t2 diabetes. High BG from soda==>High insulin==>carcinogenesis via tumor growth.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 11:18 AM

Troof, everyone likes a boogeyman. And boogeymen is sometimes too much to pack into an article for a semi-interested reader.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 08, 2011
at 10:35 AM

Ginnungagap - You deserve more stars for pointing out the medias part in distorting every story in sensational ways to bring in the cash. I wish I could hand you more.

279700a1070c65fc144eceaa642dcbc7

(144)

on August 08, 2011
at 09:31 AM

good explanation! I will add one thing though: While its true that there are 'monomaniacs' in science, ie people who fall in love with there hypothesis, I think there is a far greater number of them in the media, and that distorts the perception. You get far more readers when you write an article about how x causes cancer, than when you write that a mixture of x, y, z may cause cancer, and that a, b, c and d might have a permissive effect on cancer growth..

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4 Answers

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11
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 07:44 AM

A lot of things cause insulin resistance, a lot of things cause leptin resistance, a lot of things cause cancer, it's not just sugar. It is sugar, though. Generally when you increase systemic inflammation you increase all of these. Sugar increases systemic inflammation and makes the liver insulin-resistant which starts a vicious cycle of metabolic doom. Inflammation causes insulin resistance causes leptin resistance causes insulin resistance causes inflammation causes leptin resistance causes insulin resistance.

faints

wakes up again

Yeah. Well it's complicated and there is a lot going into every meta-phenomenon but we can safely say that North Americans should get their sugar intake down to a reasonable level. http://www.ajcn.org/content/94/2/479.abstract

I would be careful saying that anything that feeds cancer cells necessarily causes cancer, just like that anything that acts as a carcinogen necessarily leads to cancer is not quite right. Usually it has to do with a breakdown in the defenses against cancer like apoptosis. As I remember from Robb Wolf's book, high insulin levels impair apoptosis and increase the replication rate of cells making them more likely to be cancerous. General systemic inflammation impairs the DNA repair mechanisms leading to more cancerous cells http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419091159.htm. There are definite mechanisms by which polyunsaturated fats, namely large amounts of oxidized omega-6 play into this all too. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/05/eicosanoids-fatty-liver-and-insulin.html And nutrient deficiencies. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2010/08/30/dc10-0994.abstract (vit d is obvious). Once the cancer ball starts to roll, fructose and carcinogens are fuel on the fire.

Sometimes I think that academia is full of monomaniacs. Wait, scratch that, I know it is. Sugar is not sufficient to explain all of insulin resistance or systemic inflammation, it is a piece of the puzzle. If it gets too much press and the other factors get too little, we might only be a bit better off than we have been.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 11:18 AM

Troof, everyone likes a boogeyman. And boogeymen is sometimes too much to pack into an article for a semi-interested reader.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 08, 2011
at 10:35 AM

Ginnungagap - You deserve more stars for pointing out the medias part in distorting every story in sensational ways to bring in the cash. I wish I could hand you more.

279700a1070c65fc144eceaa642dcbc7

(144)

on August 08, 2011
at 09:31 AM

good explanation! I will add one thing though: While its true that there are 'monomaniacs' in science, ie people who fall in love with there hypothesis, I think there is a far greater number of them in the media, and that distorts the perception. You get far more readers when you write an article about how x causes cancer, than when you write that a mixture of x, y, z may cause cancer, and that a, b, c and d might have a permissive effect on cancer growth..

7
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:42 PM

I posted this about cancer 2 days ago. It links to a journal article hypothesizing that cancer is a metabolic disease. In that sense, sugar is likely a major contributing factor, and certainly if you have cancer you'd be better off minimizing it.

Cause is a slippery word, but I'd guess it is a cause.

1
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on August 08, 2011
at 12:17 PM

I only have anecdotal evidence of this but I believe that excess sugar, or really HFCS causes cancer (at least in some people). My brother was a heavy non-diet soda drinker all of his life and ended up with melanoma at age 36. My husband drank non-diet soda on and off throughout his life until he hired on with a company that provided free soda. At that point he became a heavy consumer of soda, developed melanoma also at age 36 during melanoma treatment we found out he has type 2 diabetes as well. So then I wonder which came first? The diabetes or the melanoma? Maybe HFCS > Diabetes > Melanoma?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:39 PM

Assuming your hub only drank non-diet soda, HFCS==>insulin resistance==> t2 diabetes. High BG from soda==>High insulin==>carcinogenesis via tumor growth.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on August 08, 2011
at 02:50 PM

Yeah that sounds like the logical chain of events =/

1
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 08, 2011
at 06:51 AM

Sugar makes me sick in so many other ways that it doesn't even matter to me if it contributes to cancer.

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