By Nurse Mark
Dr. Myatt has long warned of the cancer-promoting effects of sugar – specifically, high blood sugar and the carbohydrate-rich Standard American Diet (SAD) that causes high blood sugars.
It has been a frustrating, often lonely crusade for health, often leaving her feeling like a voice crying in the wilderness.
At every turn she has found herself not only attacked by conventional medical and dietetic “wisdom” which preaches starch and grains-heavy dietary advice, she finds herself up against the constant propaganda of the wheat, corn, sugar, and other industries and even the very addictive nature of sugar itself.
There is however a growing chorus of voices joining hers in their warnings against the dangers of our modern, sugary, carbohydrate-rich, sweet-laden diet. A growing number of scientists and doctors are, however cautiously, beginning to question the wisdom of the change from our ancestral diet rich in proteins and fats to our “modern” diet so heavily based on breads and grains and starches and sugar.
It has been considered to be sacrilegious – even un-American – to question the wisdom of the “quick energy” high carbohydrate diet – but now there are scientists who are daring to do just that.
Researchers at the School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Washington University School of Medicine recently published the results of their work which clearly show the dangers of a sugary diet.
Here is the summary of their paper:
The risk of specific cancers increases in patients with metabolic dysfunction, including obesity and diabetes. Here, we use Drosophila [fruit flies] as a model to explore the effects of diet on tumor progression. Feeding Drosophila a diet high in carbohydrates was previously demonstrated to direct metabolic dysfunction, including hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance. We demonstrate that high dietary sugar also converts Ras/Src-transformed [cancerous] tissue from localized growths to aggressive tumors with emergent metastases. Whereas most tissues displayed insulin resistance, Ras/Src tumors retained insulin pathway sensitivity, increased the ability to import glucose, and resisted apoptosis. High dietary sugar increased canonical Wingless/Wnt pathway activity, which upregulated insulin receptor gene expression to promote insulin sensitivity. The result is a feed-forward circuit that amplified diet-mediated malignant phenotypes within Ras/Src-transformed tumors. By targeting multiple steps in this circuit with rationally applied drug combinations, we demonstrate the potential of combinatorial drug intervention to treat diet-enhanced malignant tumors.
Here’s what all that means in simpler, non-scientist language:
- People with diabetes, or who are obese, or have metabolic syndrome (high blood sugars) are well-known to be at greatly increased risk for developing cancer.
- Scientists used fruit flies to see the effect of high-sugar diets on cancer.
- Feeding the fruit flies a high sugar diet quickly gave them diabetes.
- That high sugar diet also caused small cancerous growths to quickly become very large, aggressive and metastatic (spreading) tumors that voraciously consume the sugar and resist normal cell death (or apoptosis).
- The high-sugar diet and resulting aggressive cancer growth increases, spiraling out of control: “the bigger it gets the bigger it will get” – as long as the high sugar “fuel” is available.
- Finally, the scientists appeal to the drug companies for research money by saying that there might be ways to fix all this with drugs…
Using fruit flies specially designed to have cancerous tumors, the scientists, led by Ross Cagan from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City found that when the flies were fed a low sugar/carbohydrate, high protein diet the tumors remained small and did not spread. But, changing the diet to one that provided the same amount of calories from sugar instead of from protein caused the tumors to grow and spread rapidly.
“The tumors just went crazy,” Cagan said. “When the flies were on a normal diet the tumors could barely be seen, but as soon as the sugar was introduced they were everywhere.”
Please remember: All carbohydrates – grains, starches, fruits, vegetables, tubers, legumes – whether they are “complex carbs” or “simple carbs”, “high glycemic” or “low glycemic”, ultimately become glucose – that’s sugar – in our body when we eat them. And, there is no requirement for carbohydrates in our diet!
So, to recap: Sugar causes diabetes. Sugar also causes cancer to grow and spread out of control. Researchers would like to find a drug that would stop sugar from causing diabetes and making cancer grow out of control.
In the meantime, until that wonderful “silver bullet” is developed by Big Pharma, maybe Dr. Myatt is right – maybe a low-carbohydrate, low sugar diet really is the best protection!
Doesn’t it seem a whole lot easier, safer, and more certain to simply cut out the sugar than to trust a drug? It sure does to me!
Dr. Myatt is right now putting the finishing touches on her next book, The Ketone Zone For Cancer which will describe her years of clinical experience in using diet to control cancer and will provide advice, recipes, and more to those who wish to use the power of their own metabolism to combat this frightening disease. Watch for it – we’ll be announcing it soon!
Endocrinology: Sugar Activates Oncogenes in Tumors. Published: Aug 12, 2013 | Updated: Aug 21, 2013
By Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Obesity/40920
Transformed Drosophila Cells Evade Diet-Mediated Insulin Resistance through Wingless Signaling
Susumu Hirabayashi, Thomas J. Baranski, Ross L. Cagan. Cell, Volume 154, Issue 3, 664-675, 1 August 2013 http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674%2813%2900769-1
National Academy of Sciences: Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) ( 2005 ) Chpt. 6 Dietary Carbohydrates: Sugars and Starches Page 275: “The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed.” http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=275
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