Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fructose Fuels Cancer More Than Other Sugars

There has been recent research exposing the harm of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in our daily diets. Last month, I wrote about the dangers of too much sugar and how it contributes to metabolic syndrome. It appears now that not all sugar is created equal, and in fact, fructose is  much more harmful than previously thought.

The three natural, common types of sugar in the human diet are glucose, sucrose, and fructose. Glucose is the sugar broken down from carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, and potatoes. Sucrose is refined cane sugar, or common table sugar.  Fructose is a component of sucrose along with glucose. Fructose is found in many foods. Today, however, we now consume large amounts of high-fructose corn syrup, largely from processed foods and sodas due to its low cost and high relative sweetness. I’ve written before on the dangers of this man-made sweetener, and it seems now that high amounts of fructose not only wreaks havoc on your metabolism, but also on cancer cells.

A study from UCLA showed that pancreatic cancer cells used fructose and glucose in different ways, concluding that the cancer cells better use fructose to multiply. Pancreatic tumor cells seem to prefer the fructose over glucose, eating it up to divide and proliferate. "These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation," said Anthony Heaney of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The results of this study obviously have dietary implication for those fighting cancer. By cutting back or eliminating your intake of fructose--be it from fruit, sodas, or processed foods--you may be able to slow cancer cell growth. Limiting the total amount of sugar in your diet also helps to improve your immune system, as sugar suppresses it.

This study also sends shock-waves through the corn industry as well as certain food and soda producers, as these industries have disagreed with negative health claims of high-fructose corn syrup, and claimed that all sugars are metabolized similarly by the body.  Hopefully, more government action will be taken to halt the use of high-fructose corn syrup in so many common products. I also encourage you to limit the amount of refined sugars in your diet period, as cancer cells thrive on all refined sugar. Reducing sugar intake will also help to maintain a healthy weight, reducing your risk for many serious diseases and conditions.




  1. Interesting Post about sugars. Are you subscribed to Doctor Ray Strand's newsletter? You may want to read his take http://www.raystrand.com/newsletter

  2. My husband has prostrate cancer, is there anyway to talk to the doctor, My husband would like the blood tests.