Debate Magazine

Sugar Consumption Increases Risks of Breast Cancer

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Americans consume too much sugar.

A 12-oz. can of regular (non-diet) Coke contains 140 calories, all from sugar.

Consumption of sugar — especially sugar-sweetened drinks — per person in the U.S. is more than 100 pounds per year. Studies have found that sweetened beverages are a massive force behind America’s epidemic of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

Now, a new study has found a direct association between dietary sugar and breast cancer.

malignant breast cancer cells

malignant breast cancer cells

The study by a team of scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found experimental evidence to confirm numerous epidemiological studies worldwide showing that high-sugar diets are associated with increased breast cancer risk. The findings by Y. Jiang, Y. Pan, P. Thea, L. Tan, M. Gagea-lurascu, and L. Cohen were published as “Dietary sugar induces tumorigenesis in mammary gland partially through 12 lipoxygenase pathway” in the journal, Cancer Research.

It is hypothesized that the role of sugar in cancer development involves inflammation. Bioactive lipids, especially cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases (LOXs) metabolites of arachidonic acid, are known to be involved in inflammation and cancers.

The Texas team focused their study on 12-LOX pathways to examine the effect of sucrose enriched diet in the development of primary and metastatic breast tumor.

Mice bearing three different types of breast tumors were fed with sucrose-enriched diets. The mice’s primary tumors and lung metastasis were measured to determine the levels of 12-LOX protein expression.

The study found that:

  1. A diet with 125 g/kg sucrose, a concentration equivalent to the average sugar consumption of American population (70 lb/person/year), notably increased tumor incidence by 77%.
  2. Mice fed a sucrose diet experienced an increase of the weight of their tumors by 2.2-fold.
  3. A sucrose diet also increased lung metastasis of mice with mammary tumor, that is, sugar increases the spread of cancer from their breasts to their lungs.

The study’s conclusion is that there is strong evidence that a diet high in sugar (sucrose) and carbohydrates increases the risks for breast cancer, as well as accelerates the development and metastasis of breast cancer.

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