Excess sugar intake, especially high fructose corn syrup, is driving this public health crisis. Daily consumption of sugary beverages and fake foods is causing systemic inflammation, immunodeficiency, obesity, metabolic disorders, Type-2 diabetes, and a host of cancers.
Mingyang Song, associate professor of clinical epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health spoke with The Epoch Times about the correlation between sugar intake and cancer. Mingyang said there is strong epidemiological evidence to suggest that “sugar intake can indeed nourish cancer cells.”
A seven-year study that involved 1,011 colon cancer patients found a direct correlation between sugar intake and cancer prognosis. Those who consumed two or more servings of sugar per day experienced a 67 percent increase risk of colon cancer recurrence or mortality. The excess sugar in juices, sodas and energy drinks differ from the natural sugars found in fruits. Fruits also contain fiber, which slows digestion and allows the cells to properly utilize the small amount of sugar in the fruit.
A 2021 study involving 7,000 patients found a correlation between sugar intake and increased cancer risk. Cancer incidence increased by 8 percent for every additional 5 grams of liquid sugar consumed per day. To put that in perspective, a can of soda typically contains 30 to 45 grams of sugar. The people with the highest sugar intake suffered a 46 percent increase in cancer incidence by study’s end.
In a prospective study that involved over 35,000 patients, a correlation was found between soft drinks and an increased risk of obesity-related cancers. Patients who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages more than once per day experienced an 18 percent increase in cancer diagnosis.
A 2023 comprehensive review found that 48 percent of all cancer cases, including breast, colorectal, endometrial, liver, stomach, and thyroid, are tied directly to obesity. A high sugar diet is one of the main drivers of obesity.
A 2020 prospective cohort study followed 100,000 people over a period of several years and tracked their sugar consumption without interfering with their eating habits. In the study, those who consumed the highest level of sugar were 17 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer compared to those with the lowest sugar intake. The finding was significant because the researchers adjusted for factors such as weight gain and body mass index. The study suggests that sugar increases cancer risk independent of obesity and weight gain.
High sugar intake triggers inflammation at the cellular level and alters the metabolic profile, leading to insulin resistance. These dysfunctional metabolic factors are precursors to tumor growth and development. In these instances, it doesn’t matter if the individual is obese or at their target weight. If the sugar is causing systemic inflammation and insulin resistance, then these are the conditions for tumors to develop, regardless of fitness level. When the body is forced to increase insulin to maintain a proper sugar balance, the increase in insulin causes inflammation and mitochondrial damage that is at the root of cancer formation.
This is why sugar (sucrose) is harmful in high doses and why HFCS is the most dangerous form of sugar. Every cell in the body can absorb glucose as an energy source. However, sucrose molecules are one part glucose and one part fructose. While the glucose is absorbed, the fructose does not get absorbed. These fructose molecules enter the liver directly, and a portion of these molecules will be converted to fat, leading to increased insulin resistance in the long run. The issue is made worse with HFCS because this unnatural sugar is comprised of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose. This unnatural balance of glucose and fructose is an assault on the metabolic profile, leading to more rapid weight gain and insulin resistance. In fact, a study published in Science found that high-fructose corn syrup enhanced intestinal tumor growth in mice.
If public health is so important, then there needs to be more emphasis on sugar’s role in causing immunosuppression and various types of cancers. Breast cancer awareness campaigns need a real purpose and would be better served if they focused on the SUGAR OVERLOAD CRISIS that is driving so many cancers today.