Day: January 7, 2020

The Connection Between Sugar and Cancer You Might Not Know About

In its simplest form, the body uses calories provided by sugar for energy. There’s also the pleasurable aspect is has on many foods. And it’s rather surprising how frequently it appears in savory foods like sauces, processed meats, and vegetable products. When purchasing processed foods, it’s wise to assume that sugar is an additive.

Sugar as a food substance

There are many forms of sugar. There are simple carbohydrates, ‘saccharides’, fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar), glucose, and maltose (malt sugar).

All of these forms are relatively sweet to a varying degree and all provide energy.

The simplest type of sugar is glucose. It may be considered as the currency for living cells, at the higher animal level at least.

Basically, our cells ‘burn’ glucose to generate energy which creates ATP in the presence of oxygen.

Most carbohydrates are broken down by the body when we eat to produce glucose. The glucose can be used for energy. When carbohydrates are unavailable, it’s possible for the body to ‘burn’ fat (ketone bodies). However, the body will always burn glucose first, should it be available.

Lactose, sucrose, and maltose are disaccharide sugars. They are digested to then release glucose and various other saccharides to make energy. When complex carbohydrates (starch) in foods like potatoes, bread, and rice are broken down, sugars are likewise released.

We utilize the term sugar in this article to describe sucrose.

The human digestive system rapidly digests simple sugars such as sucrose which allows them to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This works to sustain blood glucose (blood sugar) at a certain level.

We’ll consider how this is relative to cancer. Also, we will explore four key perspectives to the following question:

Does sugar feed cancer?

First linked to higher rates of cancer, consuming more sugar is also linked to weight gain. Second, more consumption of sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes developing and that too is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

There are two additional potential effects that sugar has on cancer and those are still questions:

  • Is sugar responsible for directly fueling cancer cell growth?
  • In what way does dietary sugar impact microbe balance in the human digestive system?

It’s merely a suggestion, but is sugar responsible for directly feeding cancer? This, understandably, is a topic that is very hotly debated.

Sugar and Body Fat

Research that has been carried out has been proven to link the amount of sugar consumption with weight gain. In populations that have a higher sugar consumption, obesity is more prevalent.

Nevertheless, it’s factual that the overall diet contributes to obesity while low physical activity, likewise, is responsible for a rise in obesity rates.

The bottom line here?

It would appear from research carried out on sugar, in relation to body fat, that consuming higher amounts of sugar, sweetened beverages, and processed foods is linked to obesity.

Sugar, Insulin, and Diabetes

sugar and diabetes

When we consume sugar, it can be rapidly taken into the blood. This is why athletes use glucose as fuel for intense physical activity.

Sucrose, lactose, fructose, and various other sugars also rapidly release glucose into the bloodstream. So foods such as candy, cookies, and others offer a rapid boost to levels of glucose in the blood.

Starchy foods that are highly refined and processed, like breakfast cereals and white bread, are quick to deliver sugar. On the other hand, unrefined starches found in brown rice, oatmeal, and wholegrain bread deliver sugar far more slowly. This is because such foods are high in fiber, which causes the body to take much longer to extract sugar.

And when blood sugar increases, the hormone insulin gets to work.

Those that have high levels of insulin, including those with type 2 diabetes, face a far greater risk of developing different forms of cancer.

But even when diabetes is not diagnosed, higher levels of insulin in the body may be correlated with a more rapid progression of some cancers. A study of 2,000 people that were affected by colorectal cancer demonstrated that in those with lower insulin levels, the prognosis was better.

Sugar and Cell Metabolism

There’s a hotly contested debate surrounding the idea that sugar feeds cancer directly. While most of us believe that to be true, it’s not the whole story.

There’s a further argument:

If sugar is not available to a cancer cell, the cell will find an alternative fuel.

Research groups on the other side of this debate are looking for drugs that will block cancer cells’ access to sugar. There are clinicians currently studying specialized diets that consist of very low sugar. This type of diet will reduce sugar as the primary source of fuel for cancer cells.

Sugar and the Gut Microbiome

Over the prior decade, a very revolutionary aspect of cancer research has opened up. The microbiome is the microbe collective that lives on us and inside us.

There is a collection of microbes that reside in the digestive system. These microbes have a valuable influence on our health.

It is believed that some species from within this microbiome have some form of interaction with the blood cells that circulate inside the intestine walls. It’s this interaction that impacts the immune system.

The microbiome is little understood. However, there are studies involving cancer patients that were introduced to newly available immune therapy cancer drugs. These studies suggests that  a healthy high-fiber diet seems to have helped bring about a positive response in some cancer patients to these treatments.

A Healthful Eating Plan

healthy eating plan

Perhaps, the best approach is to consider how your overall diet and your sugar intake affects your own body weight.

Think about blood sugar levels.

Sugar and ‘carbs’ (foods high in starch) are responsible for the highest contribution to blood sugar levels. So try to reduce your added sugar intake and reduce starchy foods to smaller-sized portions. Starchy foods in your diet should be made up of vegetables and whole-grain foods.

If you do wish to cut back on starch intake further, it’s wise to get professional advice. And remember that unprocessed plant-based foods are very helpful in feeding yourself, as well as the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

See Also: The 11 Most Important Rules For Healthy Eating

In Summary

The connection between sugar and cancer is a relationship that is filled with complexity. There is strong evidence of a robust relationship between sugar and cancer shown by some research while in other areas, there’s still plenty of exploration and debate to be done.

Nevertheless, it is clear that in most populations, sugar consumption is high. This sugar consumption has clearly been linked to various health issues, including cancer.

While there is a need for more evidence that definitively says sugar is responsible for promoting cancer growth, we now have enough evidence to say that for those wishing to reduce cancer risk and for those that wish to improve their current situation, it would be prudent to reduce sugar consumption.

We believe that patients should take action even when the information is far from perfect. There should be no need for scientific certainty before action is taken. Even more so when the action to be taken comes with few or potentially zero side effects.

Author: Jedediah Coleman CEO of

The post The Connection Between Sugar and Cancer You Might Not Know About appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Mercedes-Benz and James Cameron built an Avatar-inspired car perfect for Pandora

Mercedes-Benz channeled the wild and imaginative world of James Cameron’s hit movie Avatar for its latest concept car — an electric autonomous vehicle covered in bionic flaps that aims to show how man and machine can merge and live responsibly in nature.

The concept car, appropriately named AVTR for Advanced Vehicle Transformation, was unveiled Monday night at CES 2020, the giant tech trade show held each year in Las Vegas. And like many concept cars, it’s outrageous and sleek and a little bit out there. Did we mention it has scales?

To be clear, this is a show car. This means the Vision AVTR won’t be available to buy now, next year or in five.  But as Ola Källenius, Daimler’s Chairman and the head of Mercedes-Benz noted Monday night, “show cars are here to spark our imagination, just like science fiction movies do.”

The idea is that these exercises conducted periodically by automakers not only spark creativity among engineers and designers, it can also telegraph where they’re headed. For Mercedes, the big message that Källenius was pushing Monday evening during his CES 2020 keynote was sustainability throughout the entire life cycle of a vehicle from the plant it is built in to materials used in the battery.

And this is indeed a goal within Mercedes-Benz.

The concept car has no steering wheel or pedals because it’s theoretically autonomous. The interior is completely vegan and it has a wide sweeping display that seems to cover and curve over the entire front dash. But that’s not the wild part.

Once sitting inside the user can control the vehicle by touching the center console. The car then comes to life and can recognize the driver’s pulse and breath. From here, the driver can lift there hand, turn their palm towards a projected light. The driver picks the projected icon they want, squeezes their hand shut and the off the car goes — again theoretically.

The vehicle is made of sustainability materials all the way down to the organic battery made from recyclable materials, which are compostable and recyclable.

The 33 multi-directionally movable surface elements on the back of the vehicle act as bionic flaps and are
reminiscent of scales of reptiles. Speaking of animals, the AVTR can move sideways by 30 degrees in a “crab movement” that gives it maximum agility.

Stephen Colbert cracks himself up with savage jokes about Trump’s Iran chaos

Stephen Colbert cracks himself up with savage jokes about Trump's Iran chaos

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, folks. 

Stephen Colbert came roaring into 2020 on Monday night, opening The Late Show for the year with a solid 10 minutes of bleakly brutal material about Trump’s strike on Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

Trump has subsequently threatened — via Twitter, naturally — to further attack 52 Iranian targets, including culturally important sites, in retaliation for any retaliation. As many legal experts have pointed out, the president may have essentially threatened in a public forum to commit war crimes. The Late Show team, in an attempt to write a joke to measure up to this turn of events, came up with one that was a little much even for the host. Read more…

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