We know that sugar is bad for us, but it’s also pretty hard to resist. Sugar, which is converted to glucose in our blood, can give us cavities, grow our waistline, and contribute to anxiety and depression, but it’s addictive nature often foils our efforts to quit it.
Now there’s even more compelling evidence that sugar can wreak serious health havoc.
Sugar’s Link to Cancer
Scientists from the University College London are using cancer’s love for sugar to propel their new cancer detection research. They are using magnetic resonance imaging (also known as an MRI) to locate cells in the body that feed off sugar the most.
The study, which was published in Nature Medicine, uses glucose with an added dye to activate and distinguish cancer cells from normal cells. Glucose dye lights up the tumor cells brightly. The MRI scanner then looks for those.
We are not alone in our love for sugar. Cancer cells are also huge sugar consumers. Cancerous tumor cells consume more glucose than normal tissue. And this fact has been driving a new area of cancer research and detection.
Because tumors attract sugar to their cells, they also light up with the highest concentration of dye from the injected glucose solution.
The reason cancer cells need to consume more sugar than regular cells is because their metabolism is much higher. Sugar provides the extra energy needed to grow and flourish. So sugar is basically cancer food.
Glucose and Developments in Cancer Detection
This promising new detection technique is called “glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer” (glucoCEST). It uses radio waves to magnetically label glucose in the body, which can be detected with regular MRI technology.
In the future, cancer detection may rely on measuring which cells feed off sugar the most. The use of sugar to detect tumors is much safer and cheaper than current methods that rely on injecting radioactive material.
The current MRI screenings for cancer involve injecting a radioactive agent into the body to light up tumors. For obvious reasons, this method is potentially more harmful to a patient than injecting table sugar. Radioactive substances may encourage cancer growth in some people.
The glucoCEST method only injects the amount of sugar found in half of a standard-sized chocolate bar. That’s enough to identify a tumor. This research makes it hard to argue that sugar is harmless for your body.
Insulin and Cancer
Other research shows that excess insulin can also stimulate cancer growth. The pancreas makes insulin, which is a hormone, to help regulate sugar levels in the bloodstream. It also escorts sugar molecules into cells that need energy.
Things that spike insulin levels include processed, sugary foods, which in turn can feed cancerous tumors.
“What we’re beginning to learn is that insulin can cause adverse effects in various tissues, and a particular concern is cancer,” says Dr. Lewis Cantley, head of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University.
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, M.D., a Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, is a huge advocate for cutting out sugar to improve health. He believes that many common health issues and illness are either caused by or made worse by the consumption of sugar and fructose.
If you’re concerned about your sugar consumption or feel like your sugar addiction has a hold on you, don’t worry, there’s something you can do about it.
The more sugar you eat the more you crave. Cutting out sugar will actually help decrease your sugar cravings in the long run.
The 21 Day Full Body Makeover is a cleanse that can and often does help end all sugar cravings. After 3 weeks your relationship with sugar will be transformed. Cleaning out the body of old sugar residue and eating nutritious, filling food packed with protein, fat and fiber will keep your blood sugar stable so you don’t crave sugar when your blood sugar levels drop.