Sugar, Once Again Failing To Do It’s Job…
“Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States with a five-year survival rate of less than 5% and fatality rate of nearly 100%.”
“Our objective was to investigate whether the consumption of total added sugar, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages is associated with pancreatic cancer risk.”
“Among all participants, intake of total added sugar was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk…women with the highest intake of total added sugar had a significantly reduced risk…”
“…the main food sources for total added sugar were sweets (25.7%), sugar-sweetened beverages (24.8%; 19.3% from regular soft drinks and 5.5% from regular fruit drink), dairy desserts (9.1%), and sugar added to coffee/tea (8.4%)”
“soft drink…were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk for those who were extremely obese or those who were both extremely obese and less active among men or women or combined…”
“In this large cohort of US men and women, we found no overall associations of total added sugar, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages with pancreatic cancer risk…The lack of overall associations for added sugar intake and pancreatic cancer risk in this study is consistent with data from most prospective studies…”
“In conclusion, this large prospective cohort study suggests that total added sugar, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages do not raise the overall risk of pancreatic cancer.”
On the other hand, a significant body of scientific literature has shown a direct relationship between polyunsaturated fat consumption and the promotion of pancreatic cancer, as well as numerous other cancers.
As many products which contain ‘added sugar’ often also have significant quantities of the polyunsaturated fats included in their ingredients, one could quite fairly assume that (if it were able to be adjusted accordingly and properly controlled), a study like the one above, minus products which have lots of polyunsaturated fats included, might eventually show, in many cases, an even greater inverse relationship between sugar consumption and pancreatic cancer.
Unfortunately however, I am not currently aware of many studies which have been following (for any significant length of time) the lives of people who eat lots of high sugar foods whilst simultaneously avoiding consumption of the more unsaturated fats, and I am doubtful as to the likelihood of it occurring any time soon.
It’s easy to see on the other hand, why the idea of removing sugar from your diet in order to protect against pancreatic cancer (or cancer in general for that matter) might not be a physiologically sound recommendation.
One reason (even though there are numerous), relates to the composition of fat stored throughout the body. Due to the fact that our fat cells prefer to consume the saturated fats for their own energy, it is the polyunsaturated fats which then tend to accumulate in the tissue over time.
When conditions are stressful and sugar is restricted, glycogen stores are eventually depleted, and this causes a rise in the release of many stress related hormones. The lack of available sugar (as well as increasing levels of the stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol), then promotes the release of stored fat into the blood as free fatty acids.
The increasingly polyunsaturated nature of the fats released into circulation then significantly increases the inflammatory nature and cancer promoting potential of such circumstances, making sugar restriction all the more dangerous.
Another way of looking at this is with regards to the consumption of what some might call excessive quantities of sugar. When more sugar is consumed than is able to be used immediately for energy (or for the purposes of increasing stores of glycogen), it is then possible for what is left over to be converted into fat for later use if and when it is needed.
Due to the fact that the majority of fat produced by the body under such conditions is saturated (having many cancer protective and anti inflammatory effects, even protecting against polyunsaturated fats already accumulated), this is then another explanation as to how sugar consumption can help to reduce the risk of pancreatic and other forms of cancer.
Although there are many other factors at play when it comes to the onset and progression of inflammatory and degenerative diseases like cancer, a diet removing the polyunsaturated fats with sufficient nutrients and protein from milk, cheese and gelatinous meats, as well as plenty of sugar from sweet ripe juicy fruit, fruit juice, white sugar and honey, is one potentially powerful approach to protection as well as improvement under such conditions.
Would you be interested in a study looking at the relationship over time between increasing intake of sugar, decreasing consumption of the polyunsaturated fats, and the incidence of cancer?
See more here.