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How Sugar Feeds Cancer

The link between sugar and cancer

 

We are aware that our cells need glucose, the basic form of sugar which is transformed into energy, healthy ones and cancerous alike. But cancer cells thrive on simple carbs, like refined sugars, usually found in junk food and sweets.

The healthy cells in our organism break down the glucose into energy through a process called glycolysis, first converting the glucose into pyruvate which then goes through the mitochondria and in the presence of oxygen is transformed into energy.

Unlike the healthy cells, cancer cells can make their own glucose and convert it into energy without the need for oxygen. This process is called anaerobic glycolysis.

Anaerobic glycolysis creates a form of lactic acid as a waste product, which can only be broken down by the liver. Hence, this lactic acid goes from the cancer cells to the liver where it is broken down. The product of this process is again glucose, which then goes back to feed the cancer cell, in an endless cycle leading to cancer taking over our body. From the moment cancer cells appear in the organism they rely on this continuous process and the endless availability of glucose to thrive and multiply.

Unlike cancer cells which can only use sugar to thrive, our healthy cells can use other types of food, like healthy fats and fatty acids.

Cancer cells are unable to metabolize fatty acids or ketones, and rely on sugars.

Cancer and refined sugars are linked in two ways:

  • first they are a potential cause for cancer, and
  • once cancer cells appear they are the best food for their growth and development.

Health experts advise that the best and safest way to prevent and treat cancer is to eliminate processed sugars and starve cancer cells to death. Once their food supply is eliminated they will no longer be able to grow and multiply. This treatment for selective starvation of tumors by dietary modification (ketogenic diet) is one of the most important forms of therapy necessary for cancer patients to beat cancer. But it’s also the best way to prevent cancer from developing in the first place.

Eliminating sugars from our diet seems easy enough; cut back on cakes, candies, sodas, cookies and we’re good to go. However, the problem lies in the “hidden” sugars which abound in almost all foods we consume, even those labeled healthy and nutritious, like yogurts, cereals, whole-grains and even the much advertised low-fat products. Not even salads are free from this danger, almost all salad dressing contain abnormally high levels of sugar!

That’s why we need to be extra careful, read the labels on the product and get well-informed if we want to protect our self and preserve our health.

 

Read more about how else sugar harms our health.

 

 

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