A new study has revealed that sugar could fuel cancer by increasing the rate of growth of tumors in the body.
In a shocking experiment, scientists found that the growth of intestinal tumors sped up in the mice who consumed high-fructose corn syrup.
The fructose corn syrup is an essential ingredient of ice cream, energy drinks, and biscuits.
The amount of sugar which increased the tumor growth was found the same as that present in about 12 ounces of a sugary drink, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York said.
‘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-old in the United States,’ co-author Dr. Lewis Cantley, from Weill Cornell Medicine, said.
The team of scientists further suggested that they could find a new approach to cancer treatment by understanding the correlation between sugar and cancer.
However, some scientists have argued that the mechanism won’t translate into humans as it was demonstrated in mice who had been genetically engineered to be cancer prone.
Fellow scientist Dr. Michael Skilton, who wasn’t a part of the research, told The Times that the study was impressive but its findings couldn’t be applied to humans.
‘Irrespective of whether these sweeteners are having a direct effect on tumor development and growth, people wishing to reduce their likelihood of developing cancer should limit their intake,’ Dr. Skilton, from the University of Sydney, said.
Dr. Marcus D. Goncalves, the lead author of the study, said: ‘We were not able to show that giving high-fructose corn syrup causes new tumors because these mice develop tumors even on normal diets free of added sugar.
‘But when you give them this additional sugar, the tumors grow much bigger.’
The study was published in the journal Science on March 22.
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