Jul 20, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

How Increasing Dietary Sugar Diet Can End Up To Breast, Lung Cancer -- Study

Jan 04, 2016 09:06 PM EST

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Do you have a sweet tooth? It may be about time to cut down the splurge as an emerging study suggests that high sugar levels can increase risk for breast cancer tumors and lung metastasis.

In a study conducted by scientists from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in mice, they found that high sugar content diet similar to that of the Western diet can increase risk of both breast cancer and lung metastasis. Former studies discovered that dietary sugar potentially has an impact in breast cancer development, suggesting that inflammation is at play.

This research studied a number of mice to determine possible effects sugar has on mammary glands. Scientists revealed that fructose, in particular, can reinforce growth and spread of breast cancer tumors. In a conventional western diet, fructose in table sugar and high fructose corn soup can be a significant source of total calories.

"The current study investigated the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development in multiple mouse models, along with mechanisms that may be involved," professor for palliative, rehabilitation and integrative medicine Dr. Lorenzo Cohen said. 

Other research studies have already associated sugar with other cancer types. But authors suggest that the inflammation cascade due to sugar-driven carcinogenesis can necessitate further research. Furthermore, they strongly believe that the dietary sugar was also behind the lung metastasis and 12-HETE, a related fatty acid production, in breast cancer.

In the clinical trial conducted, mice were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Each group contains various sucrose and fructose levels.

Results revealed that mammary tumors developed more in sucrose-rich diet (50 to 58 percent) compared with starch-controlled diet (30 percent) at 6 months old. In addition, increased lung metastasis was also evident in diet containing fructose or sucrose compared with that in starch alone.

Either of the sugar prompts 12-LOX, an enzyme signal pathway, or 12-HETE, according to the data obtained. Nevertheless, Cohen emphasized that further research is needed to determine whether there is indeed a direct or indirect effect between sugar and tumor growth. 

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