New research in mouse models reveals that consuming sugary drinks can boost the growth of cancer tumors, and it also explains the underlying mechanisms.
Researchers acknowledge that obesity increases the risk of cancer, and some studies even consider the existence of a causal relationship between this metabolic condition and cancer.
One important factor that can lead to obesity is the high intake of sugar through the frequent consumption of processed foods and sugary beverages.
However, so far, there has been limited research looking at the effects of sugar on tumor growth independently of obesity.
Now, a team of specialists from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, NY has collaborated with colleagues from other research institutions to identify a clear link between sugary drinks and the accelerated growth of tumors in colorectal cancer.
In the new study, the results of which appeared yesterday in the journal Science, the research team studied the effects of high-fructose corn syrup in mouse models of colorectal cancer.
The team opted for a solution of 25-percent high-fructose corn syrup because this is the type of sweetener that manufacturers most commonly use as an ingredient in popular soft drinks.
“An increasing number of observational studies have raised awareness of the association between consuming sugary drinks, obesity, and the risk of colorectal cancer,” explains co-author Jihye Yun, who is an assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.
“The current thought is that sugar is harmful to our health mainly because consuming too much can lead to obesity,” she continues. “We know that obesity increases the risk of many types of cancer, including colorectal cancer; however, we were uncertain whether a direct and causal link existed between sugar consumption and cancer.”
|Read on: How sugary drinks can fuel and accelerate cancer growth|