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Fructose is Cancer Food


© John Whitcomb

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled "What Will Work for Me?". View all columns in series
Reference: Heaney, UCLA, Cancer Res; 70(15); 6368–76, August 2 Competency: Sugars

We have increased their intake of high fructose corn syrup 10 fold in the last 40 years. It’s been added to everything, and subconsciously we just love it. We eat more peanut butter, because it is sweet and our taste buds tell us to slurp up some more. Fructose, in fruit comes with its natural antidote, fiber. But in barbeque sauce, ketchup, peanut butter, orange juice, soda it comes straight up. What happens when it comes that way? This is what Heaney and his team from UCLA report in this journal article.

They took pancreatic cancer cells into a petri dish in a lab and added precise amounts of radioactive labeled fructose or glucose, and then “followed the money”. They traced what happened to the cancer cells as they sorted the difference between glucose and fructose. Your tongue thinks they are both sugars, and the sugar and beverage industry loudly and aggressively maintain that they are both interchangeable. This study proves that just isn’t so.

The cancer cells can easily distinguish glucose from fructose. With the fructose, the cells turn on a transketolase-driven non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway to build the nucleic acids that DNA and RNA are made from. (Can you say all that in one breath?) Save it for the Holiday party when you really want to bore somebody) Simply stated: That allows the cells to multiple and proliferate faster. Let me repeat that in real simple language. Fructose is cancer food. Instead of just being turned into energy molecules, the fructose preferentially goes into the pathway the cancer cells use to multiply and divide. Cancer cells aren’t interested in doing the function of the cells they came from. That would be normal activity that required energy. A pancreas cell is meant to use its energy to make digestive enzymes to help you digest food. But a cancer cell is interested in only one thing. Making more cancer cells. And the rate-limiting step is making more DNA so it can multiple. And fructose is the food.

Each and every day you have thousands of cancer cells develop in your body that you have to ferret out and control. And you do, for many years. We know, for example, that as many as 30-40% of women have DCIS somewhere in their breasts by age 50, and most of those women will not develop cancer. Same goes for men with their prostates. We will likely find the same phenomenon in all our organs as we study them. The key is finding the trigger that sets off the forest fire of uncontrolled proliferation and spreading. Sounds like fructose is on the short list of likely candidates.

WWW. What will work for me. Oh dear. I love sugar. The only way I can change is to scare the pants off myself. I’m really trying to find other flavors I like and that I have available when I get neurotic, or hungry, or just need to eat. With the Holidays approaching the sugar comes out. I’m going to focus on the nuts.

 
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