The Health Impact of Processed Sugars

The Health Impact of Processed Sugars


By now, the dangers of diets with high sugar contents are well known throughout the world as one that could lead to severe health issues. Between 1995 and 2010, in the United States alone, there were 18 states that according to one study saw the rates of diabetes double. All other 32 states saw their diabetes rates increase by at least six percent during that same time period. There are many causes that are believed to be the reason why these numbers sky rocketed during that period and continue to rise. Among those reasons was the increase in the consumption of processed sugars.

The more sugar you consume, the higher your chances are of developing cancer. This came from a recent study that was published in Nature Medicine, a medical journal. In this study, it was determined that processed sugar is a major component in the spreading of cancer tumors within the human body. The researchers involved in the study believe that this news is something that will force a chance in the screening process. They feel that this news will make doctors scan the human body for sugar buildup.

The Study

This study was conducted in the United Kingdom by scientists from University College London. The researchers determined these results by essentially playing around with the current cancer detection method with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. They made changes to the scanner so that instead it looking for tumors, it would instead look specifically for glucose. Through this scanning process, they were able to see that the cancer tumors, which normally are fed by sugar, lit up because of the large amount of sugar content within them.

The revised scanning technique is known as “glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer, or glucoCEST. The basic premise behind the screening process is that tumors increase in size and spread through the body more after having consumed more glucose, or sugar. In MRI scans of mice performed by the scientists, they noticed that the tumors within the mice shined bright.

The Traditional Screening

The new glucoCEST method of cancer screening is entirely different than the traditional and basic method used for years. The traditional cancer screening consisted of low doses of radiation injections that would determine where tumors may have been. Radiation is another cause of cancer, so the process is one that has been helping doctors for years. What this means is that things that are causes for cancer can also be used to determine if cancerous tumors are within the body.

How the glucoCEST Method Could Help

There are many ways where this new method could play a better role in your health. Since we already determined that causes of cancers can also be used to determine if you have cancerous tumors, sugar can now be used as a cheaper and safer method compared to existing methods of finding tumors. With the older method of detection requiring the use of a radiation injection, any other alternatives would be greatly appreciated for those worried about pumping their body with dangerous chemicals.

With the glucoCEST screening method, to determine whether your body has a cancerous tumor won’t take an entire five pound bag of sugar. They say that the only amount of sugar you need is half the amount found in a normal chocolate bar. Again, considering the old method required injections of radiation, this is a move in the right direction.

Other Studies

The recent study published in Nature Medicine isn’t the first and it isn’t the last that will find a correlation between sugar consumption and cancer. There is a study currently being conducted at the University of California, San Francisco by Dr. Robert H. Lustig. He is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the university. His study has released some information thus far including that a large amount of chronic illnesses today are occurring more frequently because of the increased consumption of sugar.

Sugars Role Internally

If all the information passed along already in this article hasn’t made you want to cut out the 2-liter soda bottles or extra piece of birthday cake, this information should. When it comes to cancer, when sugar is consumed, hormones are produce by the body and these hormones help to feed the cancer cells in your body. So each time you have a candy bar or any other food or drink that has high sugar totals, any cancer cells already in your body will be fed and grow and move to other areas of the body.

Essentially, all of the information coming out now about sugar is that its consumption can lead to many other dangerous adverse effects in addition to cancer. If you already have cancer cells in your body and are aware of this and trying to fight it, you should consider ridding any sugar items from your diet.  

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