Sugar And Cancer – How One Affects The Other

As I was considering what I should write about, I sadly learned that a dear friend of mine was just diagnosed with cancer and it made me cry.  She is a wonderful person and although nobody deserves that diagnosis, there are some who in my opinion deserve it less than others.  She’s in her 40’s and as I turn 50 shortly, I feel now more than ever before the awarness of my own mortality.  So, as a former research scientist, this got me thinking about what I have learned about the relationship between sugar and cancer and the effects they have to our bodies.  Due to my previous profession, it is important to me that I present information backed by science.  Not always easy, since science has moved so quickly recently to find novel ways to answer questions we have been trying to answer for years.

What Is Cancer?

By definition, “Cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way.”  It starts when there are changes in a cell’s gene which makes one cell or a few cells begin to grow and multiply.  These cells no longer function as they are supposed to and are no longer considered pancreatic cells or lung cells or liver cells.  As they multiply, they may cause a growth called a tumor and in order for these cancer cells to grow out of control, they need energy just like all the cells in your body.  Research shows that cancer cells do not create the energy they need in the same way as regular, healthy cell would.  Scientists believe cancer cells support their rapid growth by changing their metabolisms to take in glucose.  It then ferments it unlike a normal cell, which takes in the glucose and breaks it down into carbon dioxide and water.  This alternative mechanism for getting energy and thus growth was discovered more than 70 years ago by Otto Warburg and is called “the Warburg effect.”  This is why I believe it is important to think about the relationship between sugar and cancer and how your daily diet can affect more then how you look.

The effects of sugar and cancer within the body

Fermentation of sugar is not a very efficient way to extract energy from glucose.  I have read it can be up to 15 times less effective than what our cells normally do to make the energy needed to keep our cells alive.  Based on this finding, it means cancer cells need considerably more glucose to grow than normal cells do and can’t get nearly as much energy per glucose molecule.  Scientists and doctors use special scans called PET scans to look for cancer by using a glucose injection that is marked with a radioactive dye.  They then look at where the glucose clumps on the scan.  Since cancer cells will need to feed on a lot more glucose than regular cells to stay alive and multiply, their inefficient use of glucose will clump which often will represent cancer.

If all my cells need glucose, how do I cut out carbs or sugar?

Table sugar contains one glucose and one fructose, and we call glucose or fructose a sugar.  That’s where the low-carb diet or the ketogenic diet come into play.  If you eat good quantities of healthy fat, moderate amounts of protein and keep your carbs low, your body will switch to burning fat and will feed your cells with ketones.  To learn more about the Keto diet and benefits associated with it click on this link 

Nearly all cancer cells cannot feed on ketones so if your body is fed correctly, cancer cells are not given enough energy to grow hence the relationship between sugar and cancer.  This allows your body’s natural defense systems to have time to put up a fight and can help stave off cancer all while feeding your cells the preferred fuel of ketones.

Can cancer can be beaten by nutrition?

I believe wholeheartedly that nearly all cancers can be beaten with nutrition when caught early enough.  What you eat fuels everything inside you, both your good cells and your cancer cells.  So eat whole foods, limit or remove simple sugars, stick to good-quality carbs and high-fibre foods.  Eat healthy fats and good-quality proteins and you will have a much better chance of living a long, healthy life.

I could have gotten quite scientific about how it all works but I am hoping that my information about how sugar and cancer work together within your body will compel you to reduce your simple carbs and sugars significantly.  Especially refined sugars and processed foods that are easily broken down by your body.

Here’s another great link to learn more about cancer fighting foods

I want you to live a long, healthy life and I don’t want anyone to find out at 42 that they have cancer.

To your health,

Jack Lauzon, B.Sc. Honours Physics, Health Educator
Follow me on Facebook: or Instagram www.instagram/ketojack or follow me around Streetsville, come for a walk and let’s talk about your health.
Relevant links and additional information about sugar:

Recommended Books:
Fat Chance, but Dr. Robert Lustig
Fat for Fuel, Dr. Mercola
The Keto Cure, Dr. Adam Nally

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