How sugars in soft drinks stimulate colon cancer
Soft drinks and a lot of other industrially produced foods contain high fructose corn syrup [HFCS], a sugar mixture made from corn that consists of approximately half of glucose and the other half of fructose. This sweetener accelerates the growth of colon cancer tumors, suggests an animal study that American oncologists published in Science.
The researchers experimented with mice with a deleted APC gene, and who are prone to get colon cancer due to this genetic defect. Ninety percent of humans with colon cancer has a defective APC gene.
For 2 months the researchers gave some of the mice an equivalent of two glasses of HFCS sweetened soda every day. Other mice just got water.
By giving animals in the HFCS-group a little less regular food, the researchers made sure that their test animals did not get fat. This way, they made sure that their animal study says something about the cancer-promoting effects of HFCS, and not about the cancer-promoting effect of being overweight.
When the two months were up, the mice that had received HFCS had more large tumors than the mice that had been given water [CON]. Moreover, the tumors in the HFCS group were further developed [read: more aggressive].
HFCS caused the tumors to produce and accumulate more fatty acids, the researchers discovered when they compared tumors of the HFCS mice to those of the mice in the water group.
"Our findings suggest that the role of fructose in tumors is to enhance glucose's role of directing fatty acids synthesis", zsays team leader
Jihye Yun of Baylor College of Medicine in a press release. [sciencedaily.com March 21, 2019] "The resulting abundance of fatty acids can be potentially used by cancer cells to form cellular membranes and signaling molecules, to grow or to influence inflammation."
"These results suggest that when the animals have early stage of tumors in the intestines - which can occur in many young adult humans by chance and without notice - consuming even modest amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in liquid form can boost tumor growth and progression independently of obesity."
"Further research is needed to translate these discovery to people; however, our findings in animal models suggest that chronic consumption of sugary drinks can shorten the time it takes cancer to develop. In humans, it usually takes 20 to 30 years for colorectal cancer to grow from early stage benign tumors to aggressive cancers."
"This observation in animal models might explain why increased consumption of sweet drinks and other foods with high sugar content over the past 30 years is correlating with an increase in colorectal cancers in 25 to 50-year-olds in the United States", says senior researcher Lewis Cantley of Weill Cornell Medicine.
"Our findings also open new possibilities for treatment", besluit Yun. "Unlike glucose, fructose is not essential for the survival and growth of normal cells, which suggests that therapies targeting fructose metabolism are worth exploring. Alternatively, avoiding consuming sugary drinks as much as possible instead of relying on drugs would significantly reduce the availability of sugar in the colon."
Science. 2019 Mar 22;363(6433):1345-9.
Replacing regular soft drinks with diet sodas helps colon cancer patients survive 22.07.2018
Nuts halve mortality risk in colorectal cancer 03.03.2018
One hour walking a day increases survival chances of colorectal cancer patients 08.05.2012
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